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Peacocks run wild in Whangara

Hundreds of wild peacocks continue to roam around Whangara properties on the East Coast.

Whangara resident Ian Newman says he has culled about 100 peacocks per year on his property over the last 10 years.

“There were a few hundred on my property a few months ago. We used to shoot them at night but found it was easier and safer to get them during the day,” Mr Newman said.

The numbers have remained the same over the years, but since the semi-automatic gun ban they have not been regularly shot, he said.

“Numbers got up to about 500, which was having an impact on feed supply through the winter.

“I had to get a crew in to cull 226 of them over two weekends.”

The birds have been there for years, but numbers have built up to pest proportions and they are spreading further afield, Mr Newman said.

“Groups of about 1000 were shot on a larger property in the area.”

There are plenty of trees and cover for them to hide in, he said.

“It will become a problem over time. Maybe they should be looked at as a pest by the Gisborne District Council and controlled in conjunction with possums.”

GDC’s biosecurity team does not

track peacocks.

While peacocks are listed in the Regional Pest Management Plan, GDC does not manage or undertake active control of populations.

Control of peacocks is a landowner responsibility, they have been bred from localised liberations usually around rural homesteads and become feral.

There are no reports locally where peacocks have impacted on the environment, although in large groups they may have an adverse effect on pasture and cropping.

Peacocks are not a protected species and can be shot, providing permission is given from the landowner and all firearms rules are followed.

LOOK OUT: Peacocks have been spotted around Whangara and one landowner has culled 226 on his property. NZ Herald picture