Indian Island/Mamaku Restoration Project
Indian Island was declared pest-free in 2012, however, it was reinvaded by rats in 2015/16.
In October 2018 Pure Salt initiated a project to reduce the rat population to undetectable levels, in order to protect vulnerable native species on the Island as well as to reduce the risk of rats swimming to nearby rat-free islands.
Using a grid network of GoodNature A24 self-resetting traps on an approximate 100 x 100 grid across the island, over 17 km of track lines had to be cut and 200 traps laid.
The foundation for the project was completed in an impressive 8 month period using Pure Salt’s vessel Flightless as home base and a combination of hundreds of volunteer hours from DOC staff and Pure Salt’s owners, crew, friends, family and clients.
Tracking tunnels, motion cameras and newly installed Bluetooth technology (CHIRPS) are used to monitor predator numbers and now that the infrastructure is in place, the traps continue to be checked and rebaited at least three times a year.
With a successful predator control programme in place, it's hoped that Indian Island will be a safe haven for the wildlife that already call it home and will enable future translocations of vulnerable native species. Monitoring in June 2020 shows rat numbers have dropped below the threshold for translocations – an exciting milestone.
Learnings from this model will be applied to the neighbouring but much larger Long Island.
Long Island Restoration Project
Because of its size, about 2,000 hectares, and central position within the Tamatea/Dusky complex, Long Island is the obvious next step to halt the migration of stoats to Resolution and Indian Island and to further protect these areas and their native inhabitants from rats.
Pure Salt began work on Long Island in October 2019 focusing on a 30 trap coastal A24 line towards Indian Island and cutting and marking internal stoat lines on the western end of the Island. More work was completed in June an October 2020 towards the completion of an internal A24 stoat network to complement the coastal DOC 200 network already in place.
To find out more details about the Indian Island/Mamaku and Long Island Projects and other Pure Salt initiatives focused on the restoration of Dusky Sound/Tamatea see the Pure Salt website.
You can help
- Join a scheduled Conservation Adventure with Pure Salt. You will have the chance to be part of monitoring, maintenance or relocations and 100% of your fare will go towards the Indian Island/Mamaku Project.
- Purchase a trap or traplines on Indian Island/Mamaku.
- Make a donation via the New Zealand National Parks Conservation Foundation to pay for traps and equipment.
- Sign up to Pure Salt – Tamatea updates
- Latest project video