Apparent Zealandia Kaka Bite Marks in Avocado
Images of damage to Avocado Crop near Zealandia Reserve in Wellington, New Zealand. The crescent shape is consistent with bite marks from parrots on humans (1). I could not find any photos of Kaka bite marks but I can't see how it can be anything other than the NZ parrot known as Kaka from the recently instituted Zealandia Native Reserve.
If this is damage from Kaka I find this rather annoying, I'm not against reserves or natives, I plant quite a few natives myself, but always edible ones where I live, alongside edible exotics. I think realistic environmentalism will promote edible and useful plant and animal species near where people live to reduce unnecessary resource depletion, waste and pollution associated with transportation. Unproductive untouched reserves like Zealandia are, in my opinion, better located in remote locations away from people for the good of both people and pristine native ecosystems. Having them in central city areas may even perpetuate the myth that modern cities are part of a system that is ecologically viable, just needing a little cosmetic tweaking (a common phenomenon known to psychologists as the 'licencing syndrome' (2) which basically means "I've done something good" (e.g., protected a few acres of pure, pristine bush) "now I can do something bad" (e.g., get back to generally destroying the planet).
To say Kaka should be able to run rampant because they are "natural" is like saying we should we should drink untreated water because it is "natural" (although admittedly probably not quite as extreme). Pristine wilderness is dangerous to humans despite the fact that it is often romanticized by people thoroughly insulated from it, as the great environmentalist Rene Dubos pointed out (3).
At the very least it's worth noting it is not automatic moral perfection establishing nature reserves in the city, there are costs, some potentially very serious for certain types of genuine, hands on, nature lovers such as gardeners.
2. The Willpower Instinct. K McGonigal. 2012.
3. The Wooing of the Earth. R Dubos. 1980.