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


Reprise of the rat census

Monday 19 March 2018

Reprise of the rat census

The second census of rats and stoats on the Miramar Peninsula gets under way today (19 March) as volunteer groups work with Greater Wellington Regional Council to place 281 chew cards on one day throughout the peninsula.

The chew cards are being laid to follow up last year’s study into the scale of rat and stoat populations on the peninsula, which has been possum-free since 2006. Members of Conservation Volunteers will place the cards on a grid at 200m x 200m intervals to cover the entirety of the peninsula, including the airport.

“The cards use peanut butter to attract the animals and will stay in place for three nights. They will record chewing by pests, which will identify rats as well as stoats and other native bird predators,” says Dr Philippa Crisp from Environmental Science at Greater Wellington.

“Last year’s study found that rat populations tended to be higher on the coast, perhaps because of the greater abundance of food there. We’re hoping this repeat study will provide more insight into population size and location.”

The data will be reported to the Predator Free Wellington Technical Advice Group and will feed into decisions on how the local community should target its trapping and other control techniques.

“Forewarned is forearmed,” says Dr Crisp. “The better our knowledge of predator populations the more effective will be our approach to eradicating them.”

In the year since the last predator census, backyard predator trapping in Miramar and around Wellington City, has exploded.

“More and more people are getting on board and establishing trapping groups,” says Predator Free Wellington project director James Willcocks. “At last count we had some 23 backyard groups throughout Wellington, which shows phenomenal interest in making us the first predator free capital. There may well be more we don’t know of.

“There are also some 40 community groups actively trapping in the city’s reserves and about 80 community groups are working in the broader ecological restoration space, in reserves throughout the city, getting involved in predator control.

“A very positive critical mass is no doubt developing as people take control of what’s happening in their own backyards. Participation is remarkable, we estimate around 12,000 people are involved.”

Wellington City Council is partnering with NEXT Foundation, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the community to make Wellington the first predator-free capital city. Their initial focus is on eradicating rats and stoats from Miramar Peninsula, with a plan to extend the strategy to the eradicating introduced predators of native birds across the entire Wellington City area.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Spying On Politicians, Activists, Iwi, Quake Victims: "Failings Across Public Service"

A State Services Commission investigation into the use of external security consultants by government agencies has uncovered failings across the public service, including breaches of the code of conduct...

However, the inquiry found no evidence of widespread inappropriate surveillance by external security consultants on behalf of government agencies. More>>


Doesn’t Compromise Sovereignty: NZ To Back UN Migration Compact

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will support the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration after being satisfied fears about the document are unfounded. More>>


Children's Commissioner: Child Poverty Law "Historic Cause For Celebration"

...It represents a cross-party commitment to a fundamental shift of policy for our most disadvantaged children and should help undo 30 years of damage to children from our most vulnerable families. More>>


Dope News: Binding Cannabis Referendum To Be Held At 2020 Election

The referendum on cannabis for personal use is part of Labour's confidence and supply agreement with the Greens. It could be one of potentially three referenda - decisions have yet to be made about euthanasia and changes to electoral laws. More>>


Vic: Victoria University Name Change Rejected

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has declined Victoria University of Wellington Council’s application for a legal name change. More>>


PM's Post-Cab 17/12/18: Chief Justice, M Bovis

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's final post-cabinet press conference of the year focussed on announcing the appointment of Helen Winkelmann as the next Chief Justice, and an update on effort to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand. More>>


Law Commission Issues Paper: Use Of DNA In Criminal Investigations

In the 22 years since the Act came into force, it has become clear that the modern-day fingerprint analogy is increasingly inapt... Theoretically, whole genome sequencing could ultimately become the standard method of analysing a DNA sample. Such a development will give a new perspective on the concept of genetic surveillance in the criminal context. More>>

State Highways: $1.4 Billion For Road Safety Improvements

The Safe Network Programme will make 870 kilometres of high volume, high-risk State Highways safer by 2021 with improvements like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening. More>>





InfoPages News Channels