Goodnature Traps Help Save Threatened Hawaiian Species
1000 Goodnature Traps to Help Save Threatened Hawaiian Animal And Plant Species From Rats
Goodnature works with U.S. Army on Oahu island, and conservationists on Lāna‘i island, owned by Oracle founder Larry Ellison, to eradicate rats and revitalise native flora and fauna
Honolulu, Hawai‘i, November 22, 2017: New Zealand-made humane, multi-kill traps are being used in the fight to revive native wildlife on the islands of Oahu and Lānai in Hawai‘i.
The Goodnature A24 self-resetting rat trap is the world’s only predator trap which self-resets up to 24 times before it needs to be reloaded by a human. For this reason, A24 trapping technology is in demand around the world for use in large-scale predator trapping programmes where access for rebaiting is challenging.
Goodnature’s North American partner and sole US distributor Automatic Trap Company (ATC) is assisting conservation projects in Hawai’i to remove invasive species like the black rat and Norway rat which have endangered Hawaii’s diverse wildlife and mesic forests.
Major trap layouts are currently taking place with the U.S. Army’s Oahu Natural Resources Program on O’ahu and with Pūlama Lāna‘i on Lāna‘i, an island 98 per cent owned by Oracle founder Larry Ellison.
Goodnature co-founder Robbie van Dam says networks of A24 traps are revolutionising conservation efforts and Hawaii is leading the way in the US.
“The challenges that the Hawaiian species face are the exact same as those our species do here. They’ve evolved without mammalian predators,” says van Dam. “In fact, their situation is even more dire because Hawai’i comprises small islands with small pockets of habitat with special significance whereas in New Zealand when you lose, for instance, kiwi in one area thankfully we still have sister populations elsewhere.”
Export volumes of Goodnature traps continue to grow as the Wellington-based company taps into increasing demand for humane, toxin-free and smart methods of pest control internationally.
Over the next few months, the U.S. Army’s Oahu Natural Resources Program will finish installing nearly 1,000 Goodnature A24 self-resetting traps as part of ongoing efforts to protect threatened and endangered plant and animal species on Oahu. The effort supports military training and environmental requirements, and complements the 500 A24s already installed in the Waianae Mountains.
Staff will deploy 910 A24 self-resetting traps to reduce rats in the Waianae and Koolau mountain ranges. The traps, along with Goodnature’s Automatic Lure Pump (ALP), will be spread over four sites to replace single-use snap traps. The trapping network will help protect the endangered Oahu elepaio, the endangered tree snail Achatinella mustelina, and nine species of endangered plants.
According to small vertebrate pest stabilisation specialist Tyler Bogardus, self-resetting traps are “more efficient” and are a great pest control solution for remote areas. Bogardus supports the Army’s natural resources programme via an Army-funded cooperative agreement through the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, administered by the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai’i - Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (PCSU).
“We work in large expanses of really rugged mountainous terrain,” Bogardus said. “It’s difficult and time-consuming to hike to these areas to check and reset traditional snap traps. The Automatic Lure Pump has been crucial. Having a lure that lasts up to six months has made our work easier and cut the labour involved dramatically.”
Research undertaken by PCSU in 2013 found A24s more effective than snap traps at killing rats. A comparison of the effectiveness of a snap trap grid at Kahanahaiki (464 traps; 26 ha) versus the grid of A24s (45 traps spaced 100 m by 50 m; 12.6 ha) at the Pahole Natural Area Reserve shows the A24 grid caught more rats per hectare (51 rats/ha) than the snap trap grid (34 rats/ha). Moreover, the Pahole A24 grid was maintained with roughly 35 per cent of labour required for the Kahanahaiki snap trap grid.
A24s are one of the most effective pest control tools on the market – when deployed, the self-resetting traps eradicate local rat populations, then the network establishes a system of constant control to suppress reinvasion.
In 2012, Oracle founder Larry Ellison purchased 98 percent of Lāna‘i from Castle & Cooke, Inc. His vision was to establish Lanai as a sustainable island and to conserve Lāna‘i’s energy, water and land resources. Lāna‘i has significant breeding colonies of Hawaiian petrels, an endangered seabird only found Hawaii, whose eggs and chicks are particularly vulnerable to predation by rats. Additional endangered species, such as two species of Lāna‘i tree snails and rare plants, are endemic to the island and also heavily predated by rats. Over the last two years, the Pūlama Lāna‘i Department of Natural Resources has installed more than 400 A24 traps, all outfitted with Goodnature’s Automatic Lure Pump (ALP), across 90ha in an effort to control the rat population and better protect the island’s endangered wildlife and native plants.
Pūlama Lāna‘i Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Dr. Rachel Sprague says, “Hawaii has unique flora and fauna, and protecting and maintaining this biodiversity is an important objective for us on Lāna‘i. The A24 is becoming instrumental in our ecology work on Lāna‘i – through the humane reduction of rats with the A24 self-resetting trap, we hope that we can better protect our imperiled native wildlife from non-native predators like rodents.”