While Dama wallabies are far more likely to be found around the Rotorua lakes there is a small population of Dama wallaby in Rocky Cutting Road, Welcome Bay. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council continues to undertake surveillance on this population with the intention of eradicating them as soon as possible. Under the Biosecurity Act it is illegal to move wallabies as they are an ‘unwanted organism’.
Why are wallabies such an issue?
- They have a huge appetite for many of our native seedlings, shrubs, ferns and grasses which prevents their regeneration, changing the structure of our forests and reducing their ability to support our native birds and other wildlife.
- Wallabies love pasture grasses, which means they compete with livestock for food.
- As wallabies are nocturnal and cautious, they can be hard to find.
- The Bennett’s wallaby, found in South Canterbury and spreading into Otago, is also threatening native ecosystems, farms and forests.
- If not controlled, wallabies could spread across one third of both the North Island and South Islands over the next 50 years and could cost New Zealanders $84 million a year by 2025 (includes lost farm production and ecosystem services).
It is very likely that this existing population are a result of the animals being held historically when rules allowed for live export. We ask that Tauranga Moana residents report any wallabies that they see in the region at www.reportwallabies.nz