Making Miramar Peninsula predator free is the first stage of our wider plan to make Wellington the world’s fist predator free capital city.
Why are we doing this?
Our goal is to make Miramar Peninsula a safe place for our tui, kererū, kākā, kākāriki, geckos and other native animals. A safe place for native animals is free of pest animals such as rats, possums, stoats and weasels.
The Miramar community has already proven this can happen when possums were eradicated. We’re also building on 20 years of strong conservation and trapping expertise in Wellington.
This will be the first stage of our wider plan to make the whole of Wellington city predator free. It’s important that this is a success, so we can end ongoing pest control and provide a safe place for all our native wildlife to live.
How are we going to do this?
Becoming predator free is a team effort and we need the community to work with us to achieve our goal of being predator free by the end of 2019.
The method will be similar to what we used to become possum free. We’ll be using bait stations and trapping. There will be a virtual barrier near the airport to stop these predators coming back on to the Peninsula.
Bait stations and traps will be on private property, in bush reserves, parks, coastal and commercial areas. In our final stage, we will be using sniffer dogs to hunt out any last predators.
We will also be monitoring for new species turning up – including kākā, kākāriki, kārearea, and raukawa geckos.
January-June – our team are out in the community, seeking permission to have traps and bait stations on private property.
July – start of operation, weekly bait station and traps checks
December – we plan to get every last rat, stoat and weasel. We’ll be monitoring native wildlife.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What’s the difference between Predator Free Wellington and Predator Free Miramar Peninsula?
Predator Free Wellington is a 10 year project aimed at making the whole of Wellington City rat, possum and mustelid free. Miramar Peninsula is the first stage of this project.
Predator Free Miramar Peninsula is a volunteer community group which provides free traps to people to put in their backyards. There are groups like this all over the ciy. They are independent and voluntary. Predator Free Wellington works alongside them - our job is to build on their great voluntary efforts to get the last few rats left behind - moving from the suppression of rat numbers being achieved by the backyard trappers - to a complete eradication. The first area we are doing this in is Miramar peninsula. We’ll then move on to other parts of the city.
Becoming predator free is a team effort and we need the community to work with us to achieve our goal of being predator free by the end of the year. We provide traps and support to the community trapping groups, including Predator Free Miramar Peninsula.
Community trapping is more important than ever, we need to get the pest numbers down as low as possible before we start our work in July.
Contact Predator Free Miramar Peninsula via facebook.
We already have a trap, why do we need one of these?
An eradication project is different from what has been done before - that is suppressing numbers through trapping. To get the numbers down to zero we will be aiming to place bait stations on a 50m x 50m grid and traps on 100m x 100m grid across the entire peninsula. This is within the home rage of every rat, and means they have 100% chance of coming across one of these devices. These traps and bait stations will be checked by our team weekly. If you already have a trap, please keep using this in addition to our traps and bait stations, the more the better!
There are no rats here, why do we need one of these?
The local predator free Miramar communities have done a fantastic job of getting the rat numbers down for us. In fact, they’ve caught over 3000 rats!
Our chew card monitoring in March 2019 shows that the community has made a huge dent in the rat population, we’re down to only 11% of the cards chewed by rats, which is the lowest it’s been in 3 years. It is our goal to get every last rat, we want zero rats, stoats and weasels on Miramar Peninsula and this means we need to get access to all habitats.
What methods are you using?
To achieve the vision of a predator free Miramar Peninsula we are using a mix of methods, including traps and bait stations.
To access all rat, stoat and weasel home ranges, we will be aiming to place bait stations on a 50m x 50m grid and traps on 100m x 100m grid across the entire peninsula. These traps and bait stations will be checked by our team weekly.
This is not a poison drop, bait will be carefully placed in locked bait stations minimising any risks. The bait stations will require a key to get to the bait.
We will also be trialling new technology to see what other methods will help us.
Will it cost us anything?
It is free of charge, all we need is your permission to have a trap or bait station on your property.
Predator Free Wellington is supported by NEXT Foundation, Wellington City Council, Greater Regional Wellington Council and Predator Free 2050 Ltd.
Do I need to do anything?
Our team will do all the work and will check your traps and bait stations weekly.
How often will you check it?
Traps and bait stations will be checked weekly by our team.
How long will it be there for?
Traps and bait stations will be installed in June 2019 with the operation going live from July through to October with weekly checks. We will then be monitoring for another six months to ensure we get every last rat, stoat and weasel. We’ll also be monitoring native wildlife and looking for new species turning up on the peninsula. Some of the devices will need to be left in place for dealing with any incursions in the future, but a plan for this is still being developed.
Is it safe for my pet/kids?
The bait will be carefully placed in locked bait stations around the peninsula. The bait stations will keep the bait secure and will require a key to get to the bait.
The bait stations are designed to prevent children and/or pet access.
In the very unlikely event that a pet did gain access it would need to consume the contents of several bait stations before becoming ill. For example a 15kg dog would need to eat at least 10 bait stations. Cats are not attracted to the bait. If the unthinkable did occur and a pet ate enough bait, there is an antidote and it could be treated with Vitamin K.
Where on the property will it go?
In consultation with each resident, our team will decide on the best location for the traps and bait stations.
To access all rat, stoat and weasel habitats, we will be aiming to place bait stations on a 50m x 50m grid and traps on 100m x 100m grid across the entire peninsula.
Are other species affected? (hedgehogs, mice, pest weeds etc)
We are focusing on rats, stoats and weasels as these are said to have the greatest impact on native biodiversity and it also ensures we are aligning with the Predator Free 2050 initiative.
We also encourage residents to be responsible pet owners.
How humane is the eradication project?
When choosing our methods for eradication, we have prioritised native wildlife and pets over introduced predators. Our aim is to do this eradication once so we can limit the use of toxins on the peninsula in the future, and the peninsula will be rat, stoat and weasel free – allowing our native biodiversity to thrive.
The traps we are using meet the NAWAC (National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee) standards. We chose brodifacoum as our preferred bait, it will be locked in bait stations and it is the safest poison for pets as there is an easy antidote available using Vitamin K.