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


Abel Tasman islands restored to being predator free

26 March 2019

Three Abel Tasman National Park islands are now predator free again after a 2017 operation successfully eradicated mice on the islands, says the Department of Conservation.

Monitoring since the DOC operation has confirmed there are now no longer mice on Adele/Motuareronui, Fisherman/Motuareroiti and Tonga islands which are used as predator-free sanctuaries for native species.

DOC is reminding island visitors their help is crucial to keeping mice, rats and other pests off the islands, so they remain safe for native species living there.

DOC Operations Manager Chris Golding says there a risk of mice and rats re-invading the islands through hitching a ride on visiting vessels.

“People planning to go to the islands should check before going out on the water that boats, kayaks, all bags, containers, food and gear are clear of mice, rats, ants, spiders or other animals. All clothing, footwear and gear should be free of soil and plant material, including seeds and foliage.

“We want people to enjoy the nature experience on the two islands that can be visited, Adele and Fisherman, but we need all visitors to make sure they don’t have stowaway pests onboard that could escape onto the islands.”

Rats are a threat to South Island robins/toutouwai and saddlebacks/tīeke that have been returned to Adele Island and to robins that have spread to Fisherman Island. Rats and mice threaten insects and lizards and they eat seeds, suppressing re-vegetation. Mice can even eat small birds’ eggs and nestlings.

DOC first carried out an operation to eradicate mice from the islands in 2007. Mice were found back on the islands in 2015 when mice numbers were high in the park due to heavy beech seed fall that provided more food and fuelled their breeding. The 2017 operation was carried out to restore the islands to being predator free.

Rats and stoats can swim the around 800 metres distance from the park mainland to the islands. Mice are not thought to be able to swim more than 500 metres but it’s possible they may have swum from the Abel Tasman mainland to the islands.

The Abel Tasman islands have biosecurity measures in place to help protect them from invading predators, including traps to catch them and tracking tunnels that record footprints to detect them. DOC staff have reviewed and strengthened these measures to detect predators earlier so they can be quickly eradicated before their numbers build.

DOC, Project Janszoon and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust work in partnership to try to keep the islands free of predators and to restore the islands’ ecology.

Public access is not allowed except by permit on Tonga Island to protect the island’s New Zealand fur seal breeding colony from disturbance. The seals can be viewed from vessels on the sea.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>


PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>


PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels