Animal pests are decimating natural wildlife in New Zealand forests. They do this by predation – eating small birds, birds’ eggs, lizards, and insects. They also compete with our wildlife by eating plants, insects and seeds.
Rats, cats, stoats, possums, rabbits and hedgehogs all have a detrimental effect on our wildlife.
Centennial Park Bush Society volunteers are trapping for possums, rats and stoats, to try to protect our birds and other small animals from predation. We have two trap lines 100m apart with traps every 50m. One is up the kohekohe valley and the other midway between the valley and the Aberdeen track. These two lines are monitored regularly by four keen volunteers. Initially we caught a lot of possums but now we catch very few. We continue to catch many rats, mice and have caught two weasels but no stoats.
We now also have in place a network of bait stations throughout the park funded and supported by Auckland Council. These bait stations are securely fixed and locked. They are loaded with rat poison (currently DITRAC = diphacinone) on a regular basis by volunteers, with the aim of reducing the number of rats in the park to very low levels. By doing this we should be able see alot more more birdlife. Once the park baiting program is working well, we will be encouraging private landowners to do the same on their properties throughout the bay. When we have good coverage we will finally have a real urban sanctuary.
There is a very small risk that your cat or dog may eat a poisoned rat. In this case if your animal becomes unwell, your vet can supply an antidote. The chance of this is small as most poisoned rats disappear to their nests to die. All local vets have been informed.
For more information see Auckland Council Pest Animals