Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report July 2017

A huge effort this month with hand delivered toxin to remove trap shy stoats and rodents.

As I reported last month the Trust has engaged the use of hand delivered 1080 toxin in an effort to remove trap shy stoats, and any rodents who may have become shy to Pindone – our usual anticoagulant toxin. The install component of the operation has mostly been completed and went very smoothly indeed. Key stakeholder groups and boundary owners were notified before the delivery of the toxin, signs were erected at the key reserve entry points and then the huge logistical operation began. Some volunteers came from as far away as Kerikeri and Russell (John Dawn and Eion Harwood) to help out. Others from in and around Whangarei, Whangarei Heads locals and of course all our own special BHCT volunteers came out several times to do the hard yards and help us out. I would like to thank all those involved for stepping up (literally and figuratively) to help conduct this important operation. I would also like to especially thank the Department of Conservation and its local staff such as Nigel Miller, Lesley Judd and Rolf Fuchs for bending over backwards to provide lots of support, staff and equipment – these guys are obviously very keen to do as much as they can to work with the local groups and get the big job done.   I am very proud (and quite in awe) of our volunteers who have stepped up even more, without a grizzle, often in the rain, to help with the huge task of hand delivering the two rounds of pre-feed and then the 1080 toxin to the 1160 bait stations all over the reserve.

Looking at the predator control results reveals that our removal of toxin control back in April to allow rats to increase slightly for the 1080 operation has been a success. Rats caught in traps were well up with 14 caught this month compared to only one at the same time last year. This was a planned and desired outcome from the toxin removal, that rats would be in better numbers to consume 1080 pellets from bait stations and be the delivery vector to stoats via hunting predation and therefore transfer secondary poisoning. The rat and mustelid traps were also shut down from mid-July so that they too were not catching the temporarily valuable rats (I cannot believe I just typed that – feels so wrong). So, we now look forward to monitoring the effectiveness of the operation on our endemic species, such as the Grey Faced Petrels, to determine its level of success over the next few months.

 

Read the July 2017 Rangers Report (994kB pdf) for more details on this and other stories.