Introduction

DOC and Forest & Bird are working together to restore native flora and fauna under threat from predators in Makarora.

Blue Pools Track area.
Blue Pools area where trapping takes place
Image: DOC 

Predators in the Makarora area will be under the spotlight thanks to a recent strategy developed by DOC in consultation with Forest & Bird Central Otago-Lakes.

The Makarora Predator Control Operation Plan aims to minimise predators and pests to restore native flora and fauna under threat in the Makarora catchment. 

DOC Central Otago District Operations Manager Mike Tubbs said the benefit of this plan was giving everyone involved in predator control on conservation land the same understanding of where to put any trapping effort. The trapping effort works in tandem with DOC’s ongoing Battle for our Birds programme in the region. 

“Our overarching goal is always to reduce predators to restore and protect the ecological integrity of the area,” Mike said. 

“We are fortunate to have such passionate and committed people who share the same goal and want to do their bit in protecting our native and threatened species. The idea of this plan is to get everyone looking at the same page and have a clear understanding of what’s already happening and what is possible in the future.” 

The plan is ambitious and includes goals to enhance the populations of blue duck/whio, rock wren, long-tailed bat/pekapeka and to improve the health of the forest and protect the birds that inhabit it. 

The plan supplements the trap lines installed by Forest & Bird in the 1990s to protect mohua with a trap network in the podocarp forest adjacent to the Makarora township using self-resetting traps. 

“This effort will help inform future decision making around predator control as well as giving everyone a broader understanding around how much work would need to go in to maintaining additional trap networks.” 

With the government’s goal of becoming Predator Free by 2050, Mike said it was exciting to see the plan come into fruition.    

“We all have the same goal conservation wise – it makes sense to all have the same information.”

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