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 Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news