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

Lest We Forget: ANZAC Day - WWI 100 Year Anniversary

The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO, will represent the people of New Zealand at the 2018 Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli. On Anzac Day, Dame Patsy will speak at the Joint New Zealand and Australian Dawn Service in Anzac Cove, and at the New Zealand Commemorative Service at Chunuk Bair later that morning... More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages