2 May 2013

DoC declares war on great white butterfly

5:50 pm on 2 May 2013

Efforts have been ramped up to stop the spread of a butterfly species threatening New Zealand's plant life.

More than 200 great white butterfly infestations were removed in the Nelson-Tasman region in April as part of a multi-agency campaign led by the Department of Conversation.

DoC's Motueka area manager Martin Rodd says the butterflies are a serious threat to vegetable growers as well as endangered native cresses.

Mr Rodd says the species' ability to move as a group means if they are not managed, they could beceome widespread in New Zealand with devastating consequences.

He is urging residents to watch out for caterpillars and eggs in their vegetable gardens and help kill the butterflies.