To rehabilitate the native flora and fauna
To promote the conservation of indigenous species
To achieve sustainable land use
his edition of Kereru brings Christmas greetings to all from the Board of Trustees and the Trust's Patrons Ngaire Schumacher and Pat Spanhake. Best wishes and a million new native seedlings for 2007.
A background synopsis distributed at the meeting of supporting landowners held at the Sandspit Yacht Club on Saturday 14 October 2006 is included as part of this edition as a permanent record. Everybody who attended at Sandspit recognised that a lot of progress will be made toward the Trust's restoration project by stepping up the possum and wallaby eradication effort this summer. Suggestions were made to assist a nucleus of members functioning as an Operations Committee to pool their experience and make it happen. A healthy financial position was reported and support received from the ARC as provided for under the Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy was acknowledged.
FOR THE 2006-2007 SUMMER
● Ensure that all presently installed bait stations are operated effectively and regularly serviced at the recommended frequency, and that records are made using a simple "tick-the-box" bait station form. Continue to use bait carefully in bait stations only.
● Assist with the formation of more teams, to take responsibility for an area so that bait stations are kept working when any person is not available.
● Identify areas where bait stations are needed and help landowners establish them and the teams to service them.
● Encourage financial contributions to fund sustained and fast progress toward possum and wallaby eradication.
● Meet at the end of this summer to review the progress made.
The two photographs above show spring growth of white rata both on the ground and climbing trees in a recovering forest fragment. The rata flourishes because possum and wallaby are now almost absent in this area.
Recovering forest or Possum and wallaby food?
A useful seed bank
still exists over much of
Go Fast Forward with restoration this summer.
Sandspit meeting continued
The Sandspit meeting was chaired by Michael Marris and continued the Trust's practise of making decisions by consensus. The need to maximise progress this summer clearly emerged as the goal. Suggestions were made to achieve this, mainly by identifying areas deficient in bait stations, and ensuring effective operation of installed bait stations. Several suggestions were made relating to employing people, but keeping in mind that the scope to do this is limited by our finite financial resources.
Comments were made by the Trustees. Ken McCormack, a Trustee since the Trust was founded in 1992 said he considered his long association with the Trust to be a privilege and believed that the Trustees past and present in their different ways had provided the vital stability and continuity in the work of the Trust. Helen Smith, also a founding Trustee, reminded us that the work and aspirations of the Trust went beyond the immediate objective of wallaby eradication. The restoration of native flora and fauna was the ultimate objective. Lesley Stephenson said that she had been honoured to be asked to be a Trustee two years ago. She had been impressed
by the enormous amount of work in the research, raising awareness and developing of procedures
that it had taken to develop
a viable eradication programme.
David Kingston, who has prepared
statements of the Trust's financial position in recent years
reported that as at
The meeting heard that in addition
to removal of possums using traps and bait stations, firearms and bait stations
had removed over 7000 wallabies since operations resumed in May 2005. A huge
increase in wallaby numbers had occurred during the repatriation suspension
period. During this time wallaby numbers must have roughly doubled, because in
early 2002 the estimated number remaining on
Past surveys and questionnaires have provided the essential planning and operational information needed on native plants, forest fragments, native fauna, weeds, and animal pests, as well as a clear direction in 2005 to resume operations following the suspension for Tammar repatriation.
A survey sheet is again provided, and a prepaid envelope for return when completed. Any information relating to the restoration project and local observations will be useful. From now on it will be important to keep up to date with the distribution of wallabies on the island, and observations of either presence or absence will be valuable. These observations can be emailed at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org and are always needed. To help with our planning please keep an eye out for animals. Please include approximate location and time of day in your reported observation. Information on significant areas of fresh droppings is also important.
Note All completed survey
sheets received by
DECAL™ Possum Bait
Pestoff DECAL™ Possum Bait has already become a hit for possum control. The new bait enhances the effect of brodifacoum, and will further reduce our already low bait use.
The genesis for the new bait
originated on Kawau and some great reports are now coming in to the
manufacturers Animal Control Products Ltd, from pest control operators
Huge kills are reported where a pre-feed of Pestoff Brodifacoum Possum Bait is followed by an application of DECAL™. That's what we were all anticipating and hoping for!
DECAL™ was first released in July
2006. While it is early days, this already looks like a significant new
development for possum control in
The Trust has always advocated using the minimum amount of any bait and requires that all baits be used carefully and in bait stations or bait bags only. Careful use of any toxin is always promoted to avoid harming the environment or threatening the weka and kiwi population on Kawau. Compared with other options DECAL™ has a low toxicity to avian species. Another plus!
For an interesting read go to Animal Control Products Industry Update, Summer 2006.
Click on www.pestoff.co.nz/pdf/Summer06.pdf
It is well worth a look!
Bait stations and bait consumption.
Bait consumption on Kawau has levelled off and will now take a downward trend overall, even with the additional bait stations needed to improve coverage. On a land area basis Kawau usage is very low compared with some other places.
Rodent bait supply.
The first generation anticoagulant
bait RACUMIN™ is available for rodent
control in and around dwellings. As with all baits RACUMIN™ must be placed out of reach of pets and weka to avoid risk of poisoning by animals ingesting the
bait. The advantage of this bait is that it has a low risk of secondary
poisoning of animals such as weka which may scavenge
dead rats. The bait is available in packs of 40 sachets at $5.00 per pack, and
jars of 225 sachets at $25.00 per jar. The $5.00 packs are sufficient to treat
a dwelling, and the $25.00 jars are sufficient to treat a neighbourhood of
several dwellings and outbuildings. Supplies are available for collection by
arrangement from Nick Randall on Kawau or
To minimise bait usage and maximise results the optimum time to establish initial control of rodents is during late winter. With this done, effective maintenance of control is not difficult. At other times, rodent numbers will be higher and more bait will be needed to gain the initial control.
The ARPMS is reviewed every 5 years as required by the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Of vital importance to the Trust is
the inclusion of wallabies as a declared animal pest in the
In the present ARPMS 2002 - 2007 the status was upgraded to eradication, but the timeframe was frozen due to suspension for repatriation of Tammar wallabies, publicly advised in April 2002 and finally completed in May 2004. The current operations were then resumed in May 2005 following strong representations to the Board of Trustees by supporters.
The present ARPMS includes the
following concise statement, prepared from the Trust's work and vision. It is a
message for all
Although wallabies prefer pasture
and are selective in the species they feed upon when they have a choice,
experience on Kawau Island has found that most native species are palatable
when food is limited, and they will destroy almost all emerging native
seedlings. Wallabies in
The Trust has a clear mandate from
supporters to progress wallaby eradication on
Recovery is very fragile at the
moment but with your continued support the Trust's vision to
restore the native flora and fauna of