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Call for submissions on application to release butterflies

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on an application to release white admiral butterflies (Limenitis glorifica) to control the weed Japanese honeysuckle.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council has made the application, and says Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), is a particular problem on public land in the North Island.

It says the weed’s stems twine around other plants in thick tangled curtains, smothering underlying trees and shrubs and preventing new plants from growing.

The council says it is difficult for weed control workers to reach all the places where Japanese honeysuckle grows, and it wants to take action to prevent the weed becoming established in more areas.

It also says using herbicides over wide areas is not acceptable because of the risk to other plants.

Its application says the larvae of the white admiral butterfly eat Japanese honeysuckle in their native location of Japan, and so could help control the weed here in New Zealand.

One benefit is that the butterflies could reach Japanese honeysuckle in areas that are too remote for weed control workers to access.

The application says field observations and laboratory experiments show the butterflies are unlikely to feed on anything other than Japanese honeysuckle.

The application is now open for submissions until 5:00pm, Tuesday 18 June 2013.

Submissions must be in writing, and can provide information, make comments or raise issues about an application.

They can be in support, in opposition, or support some parts and oppose others.

You can either use your own submission form or download one from: http://www.epa.govt.nz/about-us/have-your-say/Pages/make-submission.aspx

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