Introduction

The ecological restoration of Taranga (Hen) Island is a step closer now that the Northland Regional Council has given approval to undertake a rat eradication project called “Project Restore”.

The ecological restoration of Taranga (Hen) Island is a step closer now that the Northland Regional Council has given the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Ngatiwai Trust Board approval to undertake a rat eradication project called “Project Restore”.

Clive Stone, Resource Management Unit Co-ordinator of the Ngatiwai Trust Board, believes that the consent is a major step forward in the restoration of the treasured Taranga Island.

Because Taranga Island was once part of the extended mainland it is host to a particularly diverse range of fauna and flora compared with true oceanic islands such as the Kermadecs. The island is host to bellbirds, red-crowned kākāriki, kūkupa and kākā amongst others. It also holds tuatara and six native lizard species, around 64 native land snail species and a number of threatened and endangered native plants such as oxtongue and coastal cress. Many of these species were once widespread on mainland New Zealand, but are now totally or largely confined to islands.

Project Restore project manager Keith Mr Hawkins says, “It is great that we are now a step closer to restoring this ecologically and culturally significant island back to its natural state, a lot of hard work is paying off”.

The rats will be eradicated using brodifacoum, a cereal rat bait that is can be bought in local shops. It will be distributed by helicopter with an under-slung bucket.

Mr Hawkins is planning for the operation to be carried out between May and October this year; however, the consent can extend until next year or further if the weather is not suitable.

If you have any questions about the operation please contact

Whangarei Office
Phone:   +64 9 470 3300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   whangarei@doc.govt.nz
Address:   2 South End Ave
Raumanga
Whangarei 0110
Postal Address:   PO Box 842
Whangarei 0140
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