Nelson is set to become overrun with bounty hunters - seeking butterflies.

The Department of Conservation has put a bounty on the heads on the region's great white butterflies to try to eradicate the pest, Newstalk ZB reported.

The butterflies are seen as an unwelcome pest and pose a major threat to native cress as well as commercial cabbage and broccoli operations.

DOC is willing to pay $10 for every dead butterfly brought to its Nelson office.


Project manager Bruce Vander Lee told Newstalk ZB the hunt would help to answer a question they had been looking to answer for some time.

"The purpose of this programme is actually two-fold. One, we want to kill as many butterflies as we can. Secondly, we're going to get a lot better estimate of how many are out there."

Bruce Vander Lee says in order for people to get their reward they needed to freeze the dead butterfly prior to taking it to DOC.

DOC will be more than happy to pay the hunters, he said.

"The more butterflies that come in, the happier I'm going to be because we'll be giving them a good kick in the guts, really."