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

 

Plenty to sing about in the Tararua Forest Park

Plenty to sing about in the Tararua Forest Park

17 December 2010

Rat numbers have plummeted following a 1080 operation as part of Project Kaka, an on-going pest control programme to restore the health of a wide range of wildlife and plant species and control bovine tuberculosis (TB) in the Tararua Forest Park.

“Rat monitoring before and after the operation has shown a significant decrease in rat tracking rates in the 30 000 hectare treated zone,” said Chris Lester, Department of Conservation Wairarapa Area Manager.

“Tracking tunnels are used to give an indication of relative rat abundance in the forest”.


Click for big version

Graph of rat tracking data collected from the non-treatment and Project Kaka areas in the Tararua Range, showing a marked decrease in rat tracking rates in the Project Kaka area following the application of 1080 this spring. In contrast, rodent tracking rates remain moderate to high in the non-treatment zone
.

“Prior to the application of 1080 rat tracks were detected in 20-50% of tracking tunnels. After the 1080 operation rat tracks were detected in only 1 of 200 tracking tunnels in treated areas, whereas in areas where 1080 was not applied rat tracks were detected in 84 out of 200 tracking tunnels. These results indicate that rats have been reduced to a near zero abundance. By removing these predators we should start seeing a substantial increase in the number of native birds in the treated zone.”

The November “triple-hit” aerial pest control operation - targeting possums, rats, and stoats - was undertaken by DOC and the Animal Health Board to boost native bird numbers in the park, including the inquisitive kaka, and prevent the spread of bovine TB in the Wairarapa.

Rats have a major impact on New Zealand wildlife, eating birds as well as their eggs and chicks, lizards, and invertebrates. They also eat a wide range of native fruits and other plant material, which puts them in competition with native wildlife for food.


Click for big version

A rat preying on a fantail. Rats are one of the three predators, along with stoats and possums, that were targeted as part of the "triple-hit" aerial pest control operation in the Tararua Forest Park (credit - Nga Manu Images).

As well as destroying native bush, possums carry and transmit bovine TB. The Animal Health Board is looking to eradicate TB from possums and other wildlife to neutralise the risk of them passing the disease between either themselves or on to farmed cattle and deer.

Farmers in the Wairarapa are well aware of the damage TB can inflict upon their businesses and the disease will remain an issue for New Zealand’s cattle and deer herd owners while it persists in the wildlife population. Scientific analysis links TB-infected possums to about 70 per cent of new herd infections.

As well undertaking rat, possum and stoat monitoring to measure the effectiveness of control operations, intensive monitoring of birds, vegetation and weta will also occur inside and outside of the Project Kaka zone.

“We expect to see similar results with possum and stoat tracking data, which will be collected over the next few months,” said Mr Lester.

While people venturing into the Tararuas will see more birds in coming months, they should continue to keep dogs out of the area until the all clear is given and warning signs are removed, Mr Lester said.

“Dogs are highly susceptible to 1080 toxin. It is critical that dogs are not allowed access to bait or to scavenge carcasses which remain toxic to dogs until fully decomposed.”

Information on the operation and public safety has been posted at park entrances and huts in the treated zone, and can also be found on the Department of Conservation website www.doc.govt.nz.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>

 

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Hundreds Of New Electric Cars For State Sector

Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels