This one looked so appealing, I had to harden my thoughts when I took it up to the dispatcher. I reminded myself of the baby birds they eat, the eggs they raid, and all the tender growing tips, fruit and buds of the trees they feast on, which can cause the collapse of the forest canopy and reversion to scrublands.
There are probably tens of millions of possums in New Zealand forests, bought here originally for their fur.
They will reluctantly eat leaves and bark, but much prefer fruits, flowers, seeds and insects. Many of our native birds (and our only native mammals, the two surviving species of bat) depend on fruit, and nectar from forest flowers.
And of course if there are no buds, the new leaves cannot grow, and if there is no fruit, there are no seeds for the next generation of trees and plants... and so it goes on.
NZ Department of Conservation article.
|Begone, foul dwimmerlaik!|