Visitors from overseas join bunny hunt – Lynda van Kempen:
The Great Easter Bunny Hunt has gone global, with four overseas hunters joining the ranks of the 27 teams aiming to decimate the rabbit population.
”If you tried something on this scale back home, with dead rabbits displayed in the park afterwards, you’d have masses of protesters,” Harry Stenton said.
Mr Stenton, of Yorkshire, England, said the New Zealanders he had met were more accepting of hunting as a sport.
”Back home, people would think of rabbits as pets and there would be an absolute outcry about a hunting contest like this,” he said. . .
‘Easter Bunny Hunt’ proves perilous for rabbits – Ceinwen Curtis:
Nearly 8500 rabbits were shot in the annual Easter bunny hunt in Central Otago yesterday in Otago, by over 300 hunters taking part.
The organisers of the annual Easter Bunny hunt in Otago says it’s a shame the rabbits have to be disposed of rather than made into food and pelts after the event.
The hunt began early on Friday morning in Alexandra with hunters keen to enjoy landscapes they would otherwise not have access to.
The president of Alexandra Lions, John Feron, said one team hunting in the McKenzie country was skinning the last of their rabbits in an experiment to see if the meat can be turned into petfood. . .
Honour and Pari rule the roost at vineyard – Caleb Harris:
Two rare native falcons raised on a Martinborough vineyard are growing up, flexing their powerful wings and terrorising grape thieves.
When three New Zealand bush falcon chicks, or karearea, were moved last year from the Wingspan national bird of prey centre in Rotorua to a specialised nesting box at Escarpment vineyard, outside Martinborough, they were cute little balls of fluff.
Five months on, one has fallen victim to a predator – probably a stoat – emphasising the vulnerability of the species, which has only about 4500 breeding pairs left in the wild. . .
Uplifting award success but future uncertainty lingers – Andrea Fox:
Their financial and production performance officially puts them in the top 5 per cent of New Zealand sheep and beef farmers, but John and Catherine Ford of Rotorua’s Highland Station still feel they are farming on a knife edge.
The couple are the supreme winners of this year’s Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards, a competition they entered partly because they hoped any success might strengthen their case with the local regional council, which holds their farming future in its hands.
The council is developing an “action” plan for Lake Tarawera and Lake Rotokakahi or “Green Lake”, and with 80 per cent of their 1240 hectare (922ha effective) property in the Lake Tarawera catchment and the balance in the other lake’s area, the Fords live daily with uncertainty. . .
Forestry crown research institute Scion will next month trial the use of drones for use in forestry management and hopes to be an early adopter of imminent rule changes allowing them to be flown beyond line of sight.
Scion has teamed up with Raglan-based Aeronavics to field test unmanned aerial vehicles mounted with interchangeable remote sensing technologies which can transmit vital information on various aspects of forestry management such as tree health and pests.
It’s thought the technologies may also prove useful in biosecurity surveillance and eradication operations, along with fire management. . .
Drought a war of attrition – Barry O’Sullivan:
DROUGHT forces the landholder to examine even their most basic order of beliefs: that the family should be on the land; that a simple focus on good laws and good luck will lead to progress and prosperity; that years of research and billions of dollars to improve Australia’s land-use strategies are benefiting agriculture.
Drought throws once-tightly held beliefs and turns them into questions.
When driving through most parts of Central Western Queensland these days you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a moon landscape.
A flat and barren land covered with black dirt and red rocks scattered as far as the eye can see. . .
How to tell if your pig is pregnant – THEKITCHENSGARDEN:
Our pig is pregnant? Isn’t that exciting. Poppy the Hereford gilt (a gilt is a female pig who has not had piglets yet) wishes to announce (though she would prefer NOT to discuss her insides) that she has missed her first heat since being bred. We have had such a long run of missed breedings, both bovine and porcine, that I am still hedging my bets and in fact my Mentor of all things Pig said she would NOT have bet on it. But the signs are there. No returning heat and extreme laziness and gentleness. She has not bashed at the gate once! She is a very laid back pig all of a sudden. . . .