Date: 06 May 2009
Department of Conservation (DOC) campgrounds on Urupukapuka and Moturua Islands in the Eastern Bay of Islands will be closed for at least two months from 4pm Sunday 24 May 2009.
The closure is in preparation for Project Island Song, a community-led initiative to restore native birds and plant life to Ipipiri, the islands of the eastern bay.
The Guardians of the Bay of Islands, the resident Rawhiti hapu Patukeha and Ngati Kuta, and private landowners are working with DOC to provide an environment where native wildlife such as tieke/saddleback and korimako/bellbirds will flourish in an open sanctuary for all to enjoy.
The project is preceded by rodent eradication to rid the islands, islets and rock stacks of all rats and mice through the use of brodifacoum, an anticoagulant rat poison. (Stoats are being eradicated through ground trapping). The department received resource consent in 2008 for an aerial drop of the toxin, which will be applied twice in the period from 1 June 2009 to 30 October 2009.
“We hope the poison operation is a small inconvenience when compared to having the islands - including the very popular campgrounds - pest-free in the future,” says eradication project manager Adrian Walker, from DOC’s area office, Kerikeri.
Although the campgrounds will be unavailable for some months during the winter, DOC-administered tracks and beaches on the islands can be accessed approximately 48 hours after the drops.
“We are required to close the islands for at least 48 hours during both applications of bait, but the weather is what determines the exact dates,” Adrian said.
Formal notification of the public, island landowners and tour operators of the drop date, will follow in the next few weeks. Separate public notices in newspapers will also advise closing and opening of the campgrounds.
Project Island Song background
- Project Island Song is a shared vision to return native wildlife and plant life to Ipipiri, the islands in the Eastern Bay of Islands.
- The Department of Conservation is assisting the community-led initiative, which is supported by the Guardians of the Bay of Islands Inc, Patukeha and Ngati Kuta, resident hapu at Rawhiti, island landowners, tourism operators and the University of Auckland.
- The Guardians are also working with the Northland Regional Council, Eastern Bay of Islands Preservation Society, Enterprise Rawhiti and the NZ Kiwi Foundation on mainland pest control to stop pests swimming to the islands.
- The islands are an iconic destination for New Zealand and international visitors. The landscapes are rich in human history and should be complemented by healthy island ecosystems.
- Rats and stoats eat everything from seeds, plants, birds’ eggs and chicks to insects and lizards.
- There are huge potential benefits to conservation, the community and business if the islands are restored.
- The project is part of a wider project involving reforestation of parts of the islands, track and historic interpretation upgrades
Project Island Song
Ph: +64 9 407 0300