Bay of Islands community declares war on pests
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionIncreasing numbers of community groups and landowners throughout the eastern Bay of Islands (Ipipiri) are getting involved in stoat and rat trapping programmes on the mainland facing the islands of the eastern Bay.
Date: 26 November 2010
Mainland pest control essential to Project Island Song succes
The eastern Bay of Islands (Ipipiri) is no place to be a stoat or a rat.
Weasel caught on Long Beach, Russell
Increasing numbers of community groups and landowners throughout the eastern Bay of Islands (Ipipiri) are rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in stoat and rat trapping programmes on the mainland facing the islands of the eastern Bay.
Project Island Song – the restoration of the islands of the eastern Bay of Islands (Ipipiri) – can only succeed in the long term if rats and stoats on the adjacent mainland can be kept at bay. Stoats can swim upwards of three kilometres; Norway rats up to one kilometre.
The creation of the pest control buffer zone stretching along the mainland from Cape Brett to Tapeka is an essential part of the long-term success of the project.
Fleur Corbett (Chair, Guardians of the Bay of Islands) says, “It’s encouraging how community groups such as the Eastern Bay of Islands Preservation Society, Russell Landcare Trust and NZ Kiwi Foundation along with local hapu, have joined forces with Guardians of the Bay of Islands and funding agencies such as Northland Regional Council, DOC and Nga Whenua Rahui to carry out pest control throughout the buffer zone. The pest control work is already starting to show benefits on the mainland.”
Barry Gordon, the manager of Omarino says, “I’d put money on it – there’s definitely more resident birdlife now. We’re also getting a plague of huhu bugs – a good sign of a healthier bush.”
Eastern Bay of Islands Preservation member, John Booth says, “The predator-controlled buffer zone has two elements – Project Points and Project Strip. Project Points includes Orokawa, Omarino, Parekura, Kokinga and Omakiwi as well as Rawhiti Peninsula itself. Project Strip is the road edge from Hauai Bay to Te Huruhi Bay.”
David Mules (Programme Manager Community Relations, Bay of Islands Area Office, DOC) reports, “The buffer zone is, on the whole, working really well, however, we can’t become complacent. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, a young male stoat was found on the western end of Motuarohia (Roberton Island). It is probable that it swam from the mainland – somewhere along the Russell Peninsula. These animals can easily swim the 3 kilometres from the mainland to the island. Fortunately for Project Island Song the stoat was found dead in a DOC 200 trap by one of the island’s managers.”
Russell Landcare Trust member, Bob Frater says, “There is already some stoat control in place on the Russell Peninsula – Tapeka is a hotbed of weasels and a fair number of those have been trapped by a local resident over the last couple of years. Russell Landcare is currently looking at ways to reduce the number of stoats on the peninsula.”
More information and how to get involved
Anyone interested in becoming involved with the mainland buffer zone, please contact Project Island Song coordinator Adriana Rogowski email@example.com for more information.
Anyone wanting information about controlling stoats or rats on their land, please contact Greg Blunden firstname.lastname@example.org