“I know of situations where wild pigs have taken and eaten lambs during lambing season. They wait until the lambs are born, then move in and take them, much to the frustration of farmers and the ewes.
“When they roam, they dig up the soil and this leaves the soil open to erosion and weeds. Pigs don’t care about property boundaries and run between them, so they are challenging to control.”
At Wellington City Council, pest management is run by the Urban Ecology team and contracted out to professionals with specialty skills. They work in collaboration with private landowners as some Council land borders private land.
The pest management plan outlines what landowners should focus on. In addition to rats, possums, weasels and stoats which are to be eradicated, Wellington City Council also focuses on wild pigs, deer and goats, says Henk.
“Over the last 10 years, we’ve removed over 11,000 wild goats, which is a huge effort done through collaboration with private landowners. Wild goats are destructive to restoration planting as they often rip the whole plant from the ground, and they can stunt regeneration by eating emerging native species of trees as they grow. They also contribute to large scale erosion, especially on cliff faces.