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Kiwi project - Kerikeri Peninsula

Pest Management Report for Kerikeri Peninsula

Period 2008 to September 2010

The last report in this series was dated September 2010 and included time series data for kiwi monitoring as well a report on the number and type of pests trapped. Three full years of this reporting system have now elapsed and this report is concerned with trapping results during the period 2008 to 2010.

The total number of animal pests trapped for each year is shown in Figure 1 with 2009 greater than 2008 and also greater than 2010. Few cats are trapped on this peninsula which is great news because there are lots of domestic cats in the area and the owners must be controlling their cats well. A similar number of traps was serviced in each year on a three to four weekly basis.

Figure 1: Kerikeri Peninsula Pest Trapped 2008 to 2010

Figure 1

More stoats are trapped compared to cats, numbers increase again for weasels, then relatively large numbers of rats and hedgehogs are trapped. Possums make up most of the “Other” category. No ferrets are located in the Bay of Islands.

It is most useful to plot the cats and mustelids in the same graph (Figure 2) and similarly for hedgehogs and rats (Figure 3). The trend line for cats trapped is stable at c.0.25 per month over this period, stoats trapped increased slightly from c.0.5 in 2008 to c.0.8 by the end of 2010, and weasels declined dramatically from over three per month to c.1 per month in this period. The trend lines are reliable as the time series have well in excess of 25 data points.

Figure 2: Meso-predators Trapped on Kerikeri Peninsula 2008 to 2010

Figure 2

Rats and hedgehogs are more common and more frequently sighted than the meso-predators discussed above and as demonstrated in Figure 1. These pests are caught as trapping by-catch rather than being targeted by trapping. Having said that, more animals killed by traps means that less toxin needs to be used.

The trap-catch data for rats and hedgehogs over the 2008 to 2010 period is presented in Figure 3.

The number of rats trapped per month is steady at c.13, while the number of hedgehogs trapped has declined from c.13 per month to c.4 per month

Figure 3: Kerikeri Peninsula Rats and Hedgehogs Trapped 2008 to 2010

Figure 3

This data demonstrates (along with the kiwi call monitoring data presented in the last report) that we are managing our animal pests well on Kerikeri Peninsula. Two major areas for improvement exist however although both are outside trapping; improved dog control and more aware driving in order to avoid the large number of kiwi roadkill recorded every year on Kerikeri Peninsula.

Another issue that impacts on kiwi numbers is the disregard by some landowners of pet covenants on their land. These covenants generally prohibit the keeping or visitation of dogs or cats, and are either consent notices or covenants which are registered on the land title as a legal condition of that title. Subdivision is the only time that no-pet covenants can be imposed on a title unless a landowner wants to register a covenant voluntarily. Real estate agents generally provide a copy of title(s) to prospective purchasers and solicitors routinely search all titles that are subject to a Sale & Purchase agreement, so there is no excuse for purchaser to be unaware of the existence of such covenants or consent notices. Far North District Council (FNDC) have a record of all such covenants, so don't hesitate to telephone FNDC if you have a query.

Greg Blunden

Convenor NZ Kiwi Foundation Charitable Trust

Contact: 09 405 1244 - 021 710 441 - info@kiwifoundation.org.nz