The Clarence Reserve has been identified as a TB management area (TMA) and is the focus of a nine-year TB management plan that began in summer 2017. The pest control stream of the plan targets possums to achieve TB freedom in both livestock and possums.


  • TB freedom in livestock by 2023.
  • TB freedom in possums by 2026.
  • TB freedom in the Clarence Reserve TMA by 2026.

Current operational progress

Aerial - Clarence West, Waiautoa, Kekerengu18,500Completed July 2019
Ground control - Clarence West, Kekerengu, Upper Clarence22,000Jan-June 2020
Ground control - Clarence West, Kekerengu, Upper Clarence13,200Proposed Jan-May 2021
Aerial - Central Clarence5,300Proposed 2021
Aerial - Constitution Hill12,100Proposed 2021
Ground Control - Clarence West, Clarence East, Kekerengu, Upper Clarence, Quail and Goose Flats27,200Proposed Jan-May 2022

Clarence Reserve operations map

Clarence Reserve control area map


The objectives of the TBfree programme include achieving TB freedom in livestock by 2026, in possums by 2040 and eradication of TB from all hosts across New Zealand by 2055. These goals will be delivered through a framework of TB Management Areas (TMAs) — areas of common disease patterns, geographical features, control history, and future control needs.

The Clarence Reserve, identified on the map above, is a TMA and an area of known TB infection in livestock and wildlife. This has been confirmed through the identification of TB in possums, deer, pigs and ferrets and farmed cattle.

TB freedom in the Clarence Reserve

Pest Control Programme

The TBfree programme aims to achieve TB freedom in possums in the Clarence Reserve TMA by 2026.

Disease Management Programme

Our disease team are working directly with infected herd owners to achieve TB freedom in livestock by 2023.

The Clarence Reserve TMA will be subject to a focused programme that includes ground-based and aerial pest control activities and wildlife surveillance.

Information for hunters

Warning signs will be placed at all main access points to aerial pest control areas undertaken as part of the Clarence Reserve TB programme. All land users, including hunters, must follow the cautions on these signs.

Individual aerial pest control operations will have an associated TB control operation notice – these notices provide instructions to ensure the safety of land users within pest control areas. These notices can be found under the ‘TB freedom in the Clarence Reserve’ heading above.

For further information on access permissions and permits required to hunt in the Clarence Reserve you will need to contact the Department of Conservation South Marlborough Area office and the owners of private property or lease hold in the area.

Research papers

Cost-effective control of Tb in the Northern South Island High Country (NSIHC): Identifying the habitats and vector species requiring control — (R-80629) Byrom A, Nugent G, Yockney I, Poutu N, Whitford J, McKenzie J, Shepherd J, Porphyre T 2007. LC0708/033. 85p.

Spatial prediction of brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) distribution using a combination of remotely sensed and field-observed environmental data — Porphyre, T., McKenzie, J., Byrom, A. E., Nugent, G., Shepherd, J., & Yockney, I. (2014). Wildlife Research, 40(7), 578-587.

Reduced spillover transmission of Mycobacterium bovis to feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in New Zealand following population control of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) — Nugent, G.; Whitford, J. Yockney, I.J.; Cross, M.L. 2012. Epidemiology and Infection 140: 1036–1047.

Relative Utility of Tb Hosts as Sentinels for Detecting TB< — Nugent, G.; Whitford, J. 2008. Animal Health Board Project No. R-10652. Landcare Research Contract Report: LC0708/032. 38