This piece from the Whangarei Times of April 1, 2013:
Lord of the Rings fans are up in arms over the New Zealand Department of Conservation's decision to use over-sized stoat traps to control the increasing population of Hobbits on the North Island. A spokesperson for the department stated that "Despite similarities between our country and Middle Earth, Hobbits are not endemic to New Zealand. They have no natural enemies to control their population. and they compete with native species for both food and space to build their hillside homes."
|D.O.C. is using over-sized stoat traps to control the Hobbit population on the North Island.|
The Whangerei Times has recently learned that during the filming of The Hobbit, at least eight Halflings went missing from the set in Hobbiton. In the last year there have been more than a dozen sightings of Halflings. Some believe that they may even have crossed the Cook Strait to the South Island, most likely as stow-aways on the inter-island ferries.
A statement posted on the website of the Auckland Lord Of The Rings fan club reads: "Putting Hobbits in the same category as wallabies, stoats, and possums as introduced pests is ridiculous. Hobbits breed slowly and take at least 40 years to mature. At the very least, they [the New Zealand D.O.C.] should make use of live trapping and relocation..."
Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings films and most recently, The Hobbit, declined to comment.