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Pest control in stealth mode

Greater Wellington Regional Council team leader, pest animals, Glen Falconer, with one of the new electric bikes that will be used by the pest eradication team throughout the region. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

As any hunter knows, stealth is the key to getting close to your target.

And Greater Wellington Regional Council is hoping silence is golden when it comes to reducing rabbit and possum populations.

The council has bought two new UBCO electric farm bikes to use across the region, to help with the eradication of the pests.

“The main appeal of electric bikes is they are silent, making them brilliant for night shooting,” regional council pest animals team leader Glen Falconer said.

“Because they are light and manoeuvrable, they also get us through tight tracks into tough country, so we can now cover more ground, control more pests, and protect land you can’t get to on regular bulky motorbikes.”

By night the bikes are helpful for night shooting of possums, rabbits and hares, and by day the bike is useful for checking traps for possums, rats and stoats.

“We can be more efficient, as walking takes up a lot of our time. The bikes will also be used to get around when servicing bait stations and traps, surveying animal populations, checking tracks and controlling pest plants throughout the region,” Falconer said.

Each bike weighs 63kg, about half that of a petrol model.

The battery system can also be used to power devices and tools in transit.

Biosecurity officer John Hambidge said the bikes took a bit of getting used to, but he’s a fan.

“They’ve got bags of power, they’re very light, and they’re easy to ride.

“If you had to get it over a fence, you can take the battery off, and that brings the weight down to about 40kg.”

The lack of noise will be a winner when it comes to night-shoots for rabbits, he says.

“With the normal bikes, once you get close and they hear you coming, they’ll take off.

“I think these will make a big difference.”


  1. Sounds like a great idea Council!. How does the person physically service the bait stations?
    I hope other regions use this product also.


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