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 IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news