Pure Salt charter boat in Fiordland

Image: ©

Introduction

Pure Salt, a Fiordland based adventure charter boat business, is passionate about conservation and is supporting the Tamatea/Dusky Sound restoration project with predator control on two islands within this remote fiord.

Pure Salt logo

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 will continue to be checked and rebaited at least three times a year.

With a successful predator control programme in place, it is 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.

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.

Future plans include the completion of an internal A24 stoat network to complement the coastal DOC 200 network already in place.

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