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 First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters. They’ve been asked to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music. Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens.

If I didn’t know any better, it would seem the world has conspired for me to be a Green Party voter. Parents, Green voters? Check. Participation in bilingual education that stressed the importance of inquiry, solidarity and the Treaty? Check. Some sort of vegetarian leanings (seven years and counting, jus’ sayin’)? Check. However, above all of that, I’m voting Green because I believe in supporting the importance of every New Zealander’s contribution to Aotearoa, from the hairdresser in Foxton to the fisherman in Bluff. You could say that I like the cut of the Greens’ jib. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news