Otago is currently under Covid 19 Alert Level 2. Please follow this link for details on Predator Control and Covid 19: predatorfreedunedin.org/covid-19

Towards a predator free peninsula

The Otago Peninsula is a wonderland of wildlife, scenery and heritage. Many of the creatures and plants that give Dunedin the reputation of New Zealand’s Wildlife Capital live and breed on the Peninsula or in surrounding waters.

In 2008, a group of keen Peninsula residents formed the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group (OPBG) with the vision of protecting the area’s biodiversity, lifestyle, and economic values by removing introduced mammalian predators. Since then, the OPBG has grown enormously, with over 100 volunteers undertaking a variety of activities. For a complete history of the project, visit the OPBG History Project 2008-2015.

Possum eradication is presently the primary focus of the OPBG in working towards our vision: Predator Free Peninsula 2050.

Since 2011, the OPBG has removed over 16,000 possums from the Otago Peninsula, and that number is increasing by the day. Residents have noticed the positive effects of removing these predators by an increase in native birds, rejuvenated native tree canopies, fruit trees and healthy vegetable gardens. This incredible achievement is all thanks to a huge collaborative effort from volunteers, residents, contractors, the OPBG team, and our funders and supporters!

In 2018, a partnership was established between 20 conservation-focussed groups to form the Predator Free Dunedin initiative which connects each corner of Dunedin to achieve a city-wide shared vision of eradicating predators from our incredible Dunedin city.


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Rabbit Control on the Otago Peninsula

Parts of the Otago Peninsula have seen an increase in feral rabbit populations in recent years and some landowners have struggled to maintain rabbit populations to at or below allowable levels.

Sustained control of rabbits requires a high level of collaboration, communication, and participation amongst the majority of landowners in the area.

The poster below along with an effective management plan and a detailed report has been prepared by OPBG to help landowners and anyone else undertaking rabbit control to achieve long-term sustained control and, therefore, maximise the impact of the time, money and energy expended, and ensure that gains are maintained.

This work is undertaken in conjunction with a feasibility study undertaken by Predator Free Dunedin towards the eradication of mustelids on the Otago Peninsula, of which the reduction in the number of feral rabbits is a critical component.

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How to tell the difference between a feral cat and a pet?

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This is becoming an increasingly important question for the staff at OPBG as we install more live capture cage traps near residential areas.

To help with ensuring we keep pet cats safe on the Peninsula we have developed a “Cat Map” which is an online form where you can register your cat and include its identifying features, including an option to upload photos.

Find out more

Report a possum

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Email us directly:possums@opbg.nz

Facebook posts

Team work!!We are super excited to welcome team members from City Sanctuary and the Halo Project - Beyond Orokonui to the Otago Peninsula for the next few months! We will be working collaboratively to finish off the incredible work started by our community many years ago. Because possum numbers are so low, we need to use every resource possible to get those last possums! Luckily for us, the good people at Predator Free Dunedin are just as keen as us to get the job done! If you see any of the Halo or City Sanctuary crew out on the peninsula, be sure to give them a wave 👋All hands on deck! With outstanding support from the local community, the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group have removed a whopping 20,000+ possums from the Otago Peninsula since 2011. We know the area is down to the last remaining possums and so now is the time to throw everything at them and reach elimination!Predator Free Dunedin and its Delivery Partners are shifting their operational focus over the next few months to remove the last possums from Otago Peninsula.Staff will be joining forces to achieve this major milestone. This will mean there will be less capacity available in the City Sanctuary and Halo Project - Beyond Orokonui areas as we work to achieve this milestone. Once we have possums eliminated from this area, we will take the learnings and continue to work to make Dunedin possum free, and eventually predator free! How can you help?🌱 Check your traps! 🌱 Keep an eye out for possums and report any sightings --> reportapossum.nz🌱 Make a donation givealittle.co.nz/donate/org/predator-free-dunedin🌱 Gift us a trap www.predatorfreedunedin.org/gift-trapFollow along here, or @predatorfreedunedin on Instagram to stay updated on the project 💚#OneStepCloserPF2050 ... See MoreSee Less
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Whether or not you see a possum this week, we want to know about it. Grab your torch and get outside tonight after dark to let us know whether you have possums in your backyard.This will help us build a picture of where possums are present (and absent) across the city!www.predatorfreedunedin.org/spotlightOtago Peninsula Biodiversity Group Halo Project - Beyond Orokonui City Sanctuary ... See MoreSee Less
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How's this for a success story?!The OPBG team were more than happy to help Rod catch a particularly sneaky possum! The last remaining possums tend to be quite evasive, meaning a lot of extra time and effort has to be put into catching each individual. This means using a variety of different traps, monitoring devices and possum dogs - like Dax the dog who helped us find this possum.We would like to thank Rod for his dedication to catching this possum, and for being so committed to helping the Otago Peninsula become possum-free. The support from our community is the backbone of our project and we couldn't do it without you! Have you seen a possum on the peninsula? Let us know by filling in the Report a Possum form below, or email us directly at possums@opbg.nzsurvey123.arcgis.com/share/84095941e595403c816a8ac5e36e8797A taste of success! It took a dog, three people (including two OPBG staff), two tunnel traps, two camera traps, plus two hours work effort on the part of all, to finally catch a possum that has been living under everybody's nose at the bottom of our street for many months now. The past two months she (and her joey) avoided every live trap set, before the experts at OPBG stepped in yesterday, and we finally caught her last night... a timely reminder of the effort required for those last few possums remaining...We all need to be vigilant and report any possum sign or sightings' if we wish the Otago Peninsula to finally be Possum Free.Photo: © Rod Morris/Predator Free 2050 Ltd ... See MoreSee Less
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We're counting down the days to the Dunedin-wide Spotlight on Possums event with the Predator Free Dunedin team - the Halo Project - Beyond Orokonui and City Sanctuary. We will be out during the evenings for this event, and we encourage you to get out with the kids too! We want to know if you see a possum AND if you don't see a possum - as numbers continue to decline, knowing where possums aren't is just as important as where they are.We would like to say a massive thank you to The Royal Albatross Centre and The Otago Peninsula Eco Restoration Alliance - The OPERA for donating family pass spotprizes and supporting this event - you guys are awesome! Make sure to check out their pages and look at the great work they are doing. ... See MoreSee Less
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OPBG is proudly supported by:

Predator Free 2050
Predator Free Dunedin
Department of Conservation
Dunedin City Council
Lotteries Commission
City Forests