Since the introduction of the wallaby, these fluffy marsupials have made themselves very much at home.
You may think these critters look cute. However, Aotearoa is not where they belong and the habitat they now call home, is suffering greatly.
Six species of wallabies were introduced to Aotearoa during the late 1800s, either for recreational hunting or as part of the then desire to acclimatise exotic species, with no consideration for the local environment.
Dama wallabies are the only wallaby species widespread in the North Island, having been introduced to the Rotorua District in 1912.
How serious is the problem?
A Landcare report says wallabies could cover a third of the country in 50 years and cost the economy almost $100 million a year in lost revenue.
Biosecurity Officers for Bay of Plenty Regional Council are engaged in a programme to track and eradicate these pests.
Wallabies browse on native and exotic vegetation. They have a destructive impact on the biodiversity of a forest. They graze on seedlings and leaf shoots, so no new plants can grow and replenish the natural cycle of a forest system.
Some serious work is required if Aotearoa is to become Predator Free by 2050.
Check out the Predator Free 2050 website for information.
Created with images by Kedar Redekar - "Young Wallaby around James Cook University " • André Wasserberg - "untitled image" • James Wainscoat - "untitled image" • Wolfgang Hasselmann - "untitled image" • Priyan Solanki - "untitled image"