JOIN THE PREDATOR PULSE

The Kaipātiki Community undertakes predator pulsing in February, April, August and November each year.

A pulse is when predator control is undertaken at special intervals. These dates are selected because they are timed around food scarcity, rodent breeding cycles or native bird breeding cycles and helps maintain volunteer energy.

On this page you will learn how to set a trap or bait station, understand important health & safety relating to predator control and learn about the different types of predators that are lurking in your backyard.

Predators in your backyard!

Every year volunteers undertake predator chew card studies in reserves and backyards, and these results show where predators are more frequent in Kaipātiki.

 

These are the predators we know are around your neighbourhood:

Health & Safety

Before beginning predator control activity, please read our Health & Safety Hazard Sheet. This will ensure that you, your family, pets and environment stay safe and healthy. If you have any questions contact us.

Rat Control

In suburban areas like Kaipātiki, a huge threat to our native birds and insects are the Ship rat and Norway rat.

A number of areas in Kaipātiki are already running rat control programmes -  both in the reserve and in properties around the reserve (halo projects). If you back onto a bush reserve, contact us and we can help connect you with a pest control programme happening in your area.

Photo: Rats in a thrush nest / credit: Nga Manu images

 

Read our rat control guide:

Pest Free Kaipātiki Predator Control Training Guide - Rodents 101

 

Traps on loan 

Traps can be borrowed from the Tool Shed if you live in an ecological halo

Set a rat trap
Set a bait station
Possums

One possum can eat around 65kg of native bush each night. They dine on the new growth of trees - the shoots, buds and leaves.  They also love to eat native bird's eggs and chicks out of the nest. Most female possums can breed from one year old and can produce two young a season, if food supplies are adequate. 

Possum trap

 

Timms traps are available on loan from the Pest Free Kaipātiki Tool Shed.

Read our possum control guide:

Pest Free Kaipātiki Predator Control Training Guide - Possums 101

Photo: Possum / credit: Nga Manu Images

Stoats

Stoats are few and far between in urban areas, but when present are a serious threat to native birds, bird nests and eggs. Stoats are normally targeted with a DOC200 trap.

If you see a stoat in Kaipātiki, please contact us immediately to report it so we can deploy a DOC200 trap in this area.

Photo: Stoat stealing egg / credit: Jo Garbutt Flickr (CC)

Read our Hedgehog and Mustelid control guide:

Pest Free Kaipātiki Hedgehog and Mustelid Control Guidelines

Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are special and endangered where they came from in Great Britain, but are strangers and key predators to New Zealand's wildlife. They eat eggs, ground nesting birds, chicks, lizards and invertebrates every night. Hedgehog are normally targeted with a DOC200 trap.

If you see or hear hedgehog in Kaipātiki, please contact us to report it so we can deploy a DOC200 trap in this area.

Photo: Hedgehog stealing egg / credit: forest&bird

Read our Hedgehog and Mustelid control guide:

Pest Free Kaipātiki Hedgehog and Mustelid Control Guidelines

Wasps

If you or someone else has been stungsee this first aid sheet on what to do (Landcare Research).

If you see a swarm of wasps in a public reserve - immediately contact the Auckland Council Contact Centre on (09) 301 0101.

Be sure to give the precise location of the nest or swarm (street address, type of tree it’s in, how far from the track entrance) so the pest control officers can find them easily.

If you see a wasp nest on private property - move away, stay well clear of the swarm and notify the owner. Note - it is the property owner's responsibility to remove the wasp nest. They should contact a wasp removal specialist as soon as possible. The council unfortunately cannot remove nests from private property.

 

If the landowner can’t or won’t arrange removal of the wasps, please just move on from the property – don’t put yourself at risk! 
 
If there are bees (rather than wasps) we recommend contacting a local hive keeper as they are usually more than willing to collect them.

Paper wasp nests (pictured) can be sprayed with normal fly spray in the evening when wasp activity has died down.

German wasp nests are normally in the ground and very active during the day. The best time to control them is a night when they are quiet. Wasp poison powder can be sprinkled at the entrance to the nest.

Read our fact sheet on wasp control here

 

Photo: Paper Wasp nest / credit: Mislav Marohnic Flickr (CC)

Plague skink (aka Rainbow skink)

Rainbow skink (Lampropholis delicata) – this small egg-laying skink is greenish-brown or bronze with a shiny iridescence which gives it its name. It comes from eastern Australia, accidentally introduced in the 1960s. There are concerns that it may become a problem as it has in Hawaii, where it is called a “plague skink” and may out-compete the copper skink. Eggs have been found in potting mix and under plant pots. Please avoid using soil and plant material contaminated with rainbow skink eggs in your garden.

Photo: Rainbow or Plague skink / credit: Daniel Hoops

To eliminate plague skinks from your garden, the best first step is to remove their habitat eg hidey holes, rocks. If you want more information about how to catch plague skinks - contact us.

If you'd like to help build up a citizen science map of where plague skinks are located in Kaipātiki, use iNaturalist and record your sitings. For more information about how to do this - contact us.

Other pest animals

Auckland Council Biosecurity has useful information on dealing with other pest animals including Argentine Ants, Plague Skinks, Mustelids (stoats, ferrets and weasels) and other feral species.

View the Auckland Council Biosecurity Pest Animal page

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We would like to acknowledge the generosity of all our supporters and stakeholders, but most especially:

The Regional Environment and

Natural Heritage Grant Programme

© Pest Free Kaipātiki 2018

Street address: 36 Kauri Road, Birkenhead, Auckland, NZ | enquiries@pestfreekaipatiki.org.nz

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