In the first pulse of the Predator Blitz last month, in November, we estimate 1000 rats were eradicated, based on our bait uptake records in the reserves - a significant number at a time when nesting birds, eggs and hatchlings are most vulnerable. We like to think we are hearing more birdsong - but a bird count next year will confirm our optimism!
Dead rat found inside a secure bait station in Stancich Reserve.
Thanks to all our 35 volunteers who deployed 162 bait stations or traps and monitored them in six reserves. The teams from Shepherds Park volunteers (pictured below), Rangatira, Birkenhead War Memorial Park, Stancich, Odin and Hadfield and Kaipatiki Project volunteers trapping in Eskdale Reserve. Volunteers will repeat the process again over January and February (four times a year) - and with the help of Auckland Council's Reasearch and Evaluation team (RIMU) we will be able to monitor our progress each year. Some teams are opting to delay pulsing to work around the holidays. Join the pulse - get in touch to help our reserve teams over the holidays, or buy a trap and join a halo to rid your property of rats and possums.
Shepherds Park volunteers - Diana, Fiona, Carl, Terry, David and Justine.
Rats are not just in reserves - they can live quite well foraging in backyards and built up areas. A rat’s territory can range 30m across several properties. They shelter in burrows which provide an underground network to food and water sources.
Several halo groups have begun door-knocking to sell and distributing affordable bait stations and traps in Birkdale and Beach Haven, including halo properties surrounding Odin, Hadfield, Eskdale, Kauri Park, Fernglen and Muriel Fisher reserves. So far, 113 traps and have been sold to residents.
Andrew Osborn has bought six traps for his property which is on the border of Le Roys Bush to help restore the bush and birdlife. Andrew says:
“Chances are you have rats in your property although you’ll rarely see them. They’re out there eating eggs and chicks live in the nest!”
Andrew Osborn is keen to eradicate rats to restore the bush and birdlife as his property borders a reserve.
Rebecca Shrubshall, a Birkdale resident, does not live near a halo, but wanted to rid her backyard of unwelcome rats which have been bold enough to forage in her backyard in the daytime.
Rebecca Shrubshall is trapping to get rid of the rats that she has spotted in her backyard.
Rat control is most effective when using bait four times a year, in January, April, August and November. There are non-toxic options for residents and reserves, which follows a slightly different bait-free schedule. Some residents bordering Tuff Crater and residents in Wernham Place bordering Le Roys Bush are also taking part using bait-free Goodnature traps, thanks to funding by Kiwibank and Predator Free New Zealand.
The “Hadfield and Island Bay Rat Free Community Group” have started a Facebook page, so they can all keep in contact and share results. One of the coordinators, Jo Knight, says “several residents already had traps but were not in use, but are now motivated to join the next pulse”.
Grant and Jo Knight from the Hadfield and Island Bay rat-free community group will let their neighbours know when it is time to put their bait out using signage.
How to join the January pulse
Buy a trap for your property and help your neighbourhood to eradicate rats from your area. Halo groups are selling traps to residents keen to start trapping in...
• Hadfield Island Bay
• Eskdale Reserve
• Muriel Fisher / Kauri Park / Kauri Glen
Thanks to funding from Kiwibank-Predator Free we can also offer discounted Goodnature traps to people living around the perimeter of:
• Le Roys Bush (Beyond the Fence)
• Tuff Crater (North Shore Forest & Bird)
Any Kaipātiki resident bordering a reserve can purchase a trap from us...
T-Rex Rat trap + Ambush bait station = $25
Ambush Rat Bait station + year's worth of bait = $40
Goodnature A24 Rat trap = $80 Note: This discounted price is only available to Kiwibank halos ie Le Roys Bush - Wernham Pl and Tuff Crater ($200 to other residents)
Timms possum trap = $40
Residents with possum activity on their property can also hire a Timms trap from Kaipātiki Project.
To order a trap, connect with your halo or start a neighbourhood trapping group in your area, email us with your name, address and contact details on firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESERVE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IN JANUARY
We are looking for more volunteers to help support our current Predator Blitz reserve teams in January over the holiday period. It's not a big commitment, only four x 40-minute sessions, with training on set up.
Register here or call Pam on 021 643 866.
Pest Free Kaipātiki would like to acknowledge the generous support of Kaipātiki Local Board, Birkenhead Licensing Trust, Kiwibank Predator Free New Zealand and all our stakeholders for supporting our ongoing Predator Blitz campaign.