Now they are coming for your dog

For reasons that I really do not fully understand, Eugenie Sage has decided that Wellingtonians should have kiwi in their backyard.

We already have kaka (if you live within about 15 kilometres of Karori), tuis, fantails, kereru and a few other native birds and, it is great.

But the kiwi is a particularly retiring sort of creature, unlike the ebullient kaka, who will sit on your walnut tree and toss down the husks with what looks like a sadistic smile. Believe me, I know.

Somehow, even if this campaign is successful, I find it hard to believe that kiwi will be anything more than the equivalent of a hedgehog – something found snuffling around your trees at night that scurries off into oblivion as soon as you set foot out of the back door.

The price we may have to pay for the snuffling shadow may be very high. This is a?Stuff?opinion piece, written by… wait for it … Amber-Leigh WOOLF!

Sorry quote:

The future of Wellington looks different for cats and dogs as the city moves towards predator-free status.

Pets won’t be considered predators, but there will likely be a lot more?restrictions to keep them separate from wildlife. end quote.

At first, it was cats. Now suddenly dogs are included. Well, surprise, surprise.

They won’t be considered predators… YET quote:

“While kiwi could probably thrive in town belts and bush fragments around the edges of cities, dogs would be a major problem.” end quote.

“Could probably thrive”? That doesn’t sound very promising. While I’m sure a lot of people would love to have kiwi in their backyard, I still think they are likely to be bitterly disappointed. Kiwi just aren’t show offs like kea or kaka. quote:

At an announcement to fund the Predator Free Capital project last week, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said if a household’s cat were to die in the future, people could consider not replacing it.

Gradually, people would recognise that seeing wildlife thrive would mean keeping cats inside, she said.

Van Heezik said, aside from kiwi, other species would be prey to cats?and 35 per cent of New Zealand homes owned at least one cat.

To change attitudes in respect to cat ownership was “a challenge”. But the reintroduction of vulnerable species into urban areas would fail unless residents valued native wildlife more, and were willing to contain their cats, she said. end quote.

I’m all in favour of schemes that help to reintroduce endangered species or to boost their numbers but why do we have to have them in our backyard? Is that really sensible or practical? Why has that suddenly become the modus operandi of the Green party? quote:

Capital Kiwi project leader Paul Ward said Wellington needed to work towards promoting responsible pet ownership.

One day, cat and dog owners would have to face change, he said.

But it would be an inclusive approach, rather than rangers “slapping down fines”, he said.

“Where we will have kiwi in and around backyards, that’s where we’ll have to work closely with communities.”

It could be years before the city was ready for those conversations, he said. end quote.

The thing is that… well, this will not go down well when it comes to our beloved kiwi… but the best way to guarantee a bird’s survival is to farm them. How, many farmed animals do you know that are threatened with extinction?

If that is too hard to contemplate right now, then how about this?

Keep kiwi away from urban areas. They didn’t develop in urban areas. They evolved in pristine bush. They don’t watch TV or play basketball. They don’t make great pets, and although people are always keen to see them, that is because they are very retiring creatures, and seeing them is very difficult. Trying to get them to live in Karori or Wadestown is almost certainly counter-productive. They will run a mile as soon as they hear humans, or cars, or anything, in fact, that is typical of urban behaviour.

But once again, Ms Amber-Leigh WOOLF has made a decision for us.

First, they came for our straws

Then they came for our plastic bags

Then they came for our cats

Then they came for our whitebait

And now they are coming for our dogs

Digital image credit: Pixy
Liberal flower child