Bennett's Wallaby occupy a variety of habitats in the hill country of South Canterbury, from forested gullies, matagouri scrub and exotic forests, to tall tussock grasslands. At present, wallabies usually occur at low and moderate densities with some localised areas of high densities.
Wallabies occupy approximately 300,000 hectares of land in South Canterbury, centred in the Hunter Hills, but including the Two Thumb Range, the Kirkleston and the Grampian mountains. Populations also occur in Kakahu Forest near Geraldine and Pioneer Park south-east of Fairlie. There have been occasional sightings of isolated wallabies outside South Canterbury, for example on Banks Peninsula and at Mt Oxford. Such sightings suggest that the illegal release of wallabies may be occurring.
At high densities (Level 4 and greater on the Guilford Scale - Appendix 6), wallabies can have significant adverse environmental effects. These include the prevention of regeneration of native bush, depletion of forest understorey and possible impacts on water quality. Wallabies also damage tall tussock grasslands, including the inter-tussock vegetation that can become depleted with a consequent increase in bare ground and increased risk of soil erosion.
Economic effects include damage to pasture with anecdotal evidence of complete clearance of cover in places. There is evidence of wallabies grazing on green feed crops particularly where these border suitable cover. Wallabies also damage exotic forests, particularly at the establishment stage, with damage being more serious in areas bordering native bush or scrub areas.
A new control tool for Bennetts Wallaby has now become available, Feratox Cyanide for Bennetts Wallaby. This is a ground based control tool and a Controlled Substance License is required for the purchase and use.
The primary form of wallaby control for inaccessible areas is by the aerial application of 1080 poison incorporated in cereal-based pellets. For smaller operations, 1080 poison gel is applied to the leaves of broadleaf species, but this method is only suitable in native bush locations and is labour intensive.
Some people believe that the use of 1080 poison is undesirable for health and environmental reasons. Consequently, there is a continuing need to investigate, develop and implement new control tools, especially biological agents, so that the reliance on poisons is lessened or eliminated. Shooting from a helicopter, particularly following heavy snow, can also be an effective method but is limited to more open tall tussock areas. Recreational shooting may be useful in localised areas.
The Containment area is from the Rangitata River to the Waitaki River, inland to the Tekapo River.
Any Wallabies sighted outside of the containment area above should be reported to Environment Canterbury - Biosecurity Timaru 03 687
(A map of this area is located in the RPMS 2010-2015 Appendix 4 - Map 2: Bennett’s Wallaby Containment Area pg 133)
Wallaby Information Sheet (55 kB)
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
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