DOC staff smell a rat on Mokoia Island
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA dead rat in a trap and multiple mice tracks were discovered on the Island during routine monthly checks by DOC staff.
Date: 06 April 2010
Mokoia Island houses a number of endangered species that just became a little more endangered of late. A dead rat in a trap and multiple tracks of mice were discovered on the Island on Monday during routine monthly checks by Department of Conservation staff.
“We believe that the rat & mice must have arrived some time in the last month, when the tracking tunnels & traps were last checked” said DOC Rotorua Lakes Area Manger Nicki Douglas.
“While it is not known how the vermin arrived on the Island, it would be quite probable that cause would be increased people & boat traffic to the Island”
“We are currently responding by laying out extra traps, baits and tracking tunnels in order to catch the mice and ensure that the rat was alone, returning the Island to being pest free. These situations are highly avoidable if the correct quarantine procedures are followed before heading to the island” comments Nicki.
Waiora - Mokoia Island Experience and the Mokoia Island Trust Board are working very closely with us on this response, providing staff, a skipper and a boat also. We are lucky to have fantastic support from the wider Rotorua community with several volunteers helping out also.
“The unfortunate thing is that these eradication operations are expensive and come at a cost of other conservation work”
The island is home to endangered birds including Kokako, Kiwi, Weka and Saddleback and an outbreak could devastate the populations. Mokoia Island has housed a number of endangered species since 1990 and has been a pest-free island since 2001.
DOC, the Mokoia Island trust Board and Waiora would like to remind people that all visitors to the Island must get a permit & quarantine checks via Wai Ora - Mokoia Island Experiences.
Nicki Douglas, Rotorua Lakes Area Manager
Tel: +64 7 349 7400