08 August 2017
[FYI request #6268 email]
Dear Andy Auckland Island Pig Eradication
Thank you for your email to the Minister of Conservation dated 3/08/2017 about Auckland island pig
eradication. Your mail has been referred to the Department of Conservation for reply.
As stated in response to your Official Information Request, the exact density of pigs is not known.
Large population variations between years have been observed. Estimates vary between 860 and 2000
pigs. In responding to a question, the Minister did not recall the correct number when she said, “I
think 5000 feral pigs”. This was a slip of the tongue and was not a deliberate exaggeration to make
people hate feral pigs.
Pigs have significantly modified Auckland Island flora, fauna and ecosystem processes. Substantial
changes in vegetation community composition has occurred, principally by eliminating palatable
species such as mega herbs. Pigs, in combination with cats, have decimated ground- and burrow-
nesting seabirds. The profound differences between pest -free Adams island and Main Auckland
Island is the best indicator of the impact of these predators.
When an eradication is attempted methods will strictly comply with The Animal Welfare Act 1999
which regulates methods for pest control to prevent unacceptable pain and suffering.
Director Operations (Acting)
Southern South Island
Department of Conservation
Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai
33 Don Street, Cue on Don, Invercargill