Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Rats And Possums on the Run in Arapuke Forest Park

Rats And Possums on the Run in Arapuke Forest Park

Destructive rats and possums damaging the forest ecosystem in the Arapuke Forest Park area are on the run, thanks to a Palmerston North City Council control programme.

Rats have taken a hit, with a drop of 80% in rat monitoring indices, and there has been a drop of 90% in indices of possum populations over four years.

The Council has targeted rats and possums in the forest as part of its work to extend the network of mountain bike and walking trails in the Kahuterawa Outdoor Recreation Area, about 17 kilometres east of the city.

“Rats are as destructive as possums,” says forester, Mark Johnston. “They eat birds, their eggs and chicks, lizards, invertebrates and a wide range of native fruits and other plant material. Ship rats are good climbers, so can get access to bird nests high in trees.”

The pest control programme is also giving extra protection to the native giant carnivorus snail Powelliphanta, which lives in the area, and there is a slow but steady increase in the amount of bird song heard in the area, he says.

“The area is proving to be a safe haven for native birds,” says Peter Handford, manager of the monitoring organisation GroundTruth Ltd. “There are signs of an increase in numbers of Korimako, the Bellbird, and a pair of one of our most spectacular birds, Karearea, the New Zealand Falcon, are using the area.”

The poisoning programme began in 2010 around the Back Track and Sledge Track areas, on both public and private land, which covers around the 250 hectares of the Arapuke Forest Park area. The cost of the programme is $15,000 which at 250ha equates to $60/ha.

Daniel Ritchie Contracting carries out the programme and GroundTruth Ltd provides independent monitoring. The controls used are feratox and brodifacoum bait, and flavoured paraffin wax blocks are used for monitoring purposes. The blocks are impregnated with pink dye and aniseed that possums and rats chew, leaving bite marks. Monitoring records the number and type of bite marks, then compares them over time.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts