Date: 22 February 2018
Two predator detection Conservation Dogs - Milo and Rio - and their handler began the search on Thursday 8 February. This was after two members of the public told DOC they saw a black cat on the shoreline at Islington Bay, which connects Rangitoto and Motutapu.
"Milo, Rio and their handler searched Rangitoto and Motutapu for more than 10 days in a row and found no evidence of a cat," says DOC Auckland Inner Islands Operations Manager Keith Gell.
Motion sensitive cameras set up at Islington Bay, also produced no evidence of a cat.
"So, the Conservation Dog Team has left the islands and we've scaled down the operation we launched in response to reports of a cat at Islington Bay."
"We launched the response because a cat poses a serious threat to native birds and other native wildlife on Rangitoto and Motutapu," says Keith Gell.
Cats eat native birds, bats, lizards, wētā and other native insects. Rangitoto and neighbouring Motutapu have been free of cats, rats, possums, mice and other animal predators and pests since 2011.
"We want to thank the people who told us they saw a cat at Islington Bay. That's because we need to hear from the public if they see a cat or a dog on a pest free island in the Hauraki Gulf," says Keith Gell.
"We also want to hear from people who know or have heard that a cat or dog is on a pest free island," says Keith Gell.
Pest free islands in the Hauraki Gulf
There are 44 pest free islands, over five hectares in size, in the Hauraki Gulf.
These include: Rangitoto; Motutapu; Motuihe; Tiriti Matangi; Hauturu/Little Barrier; Motokorea /Browns Island; The Noises, Rakino; Motuora; Motuketekete; Moturekareka; Beehive Island/Taungamaro; Mokohinau Islands; Rotoroa; Pakatoa; Te Haupa /Saddle Island.
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