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 start in Miramar? Te Motu Kairangi was a perfect starting place as it’s characterised by 1086ha of urban, suburban, bush and steep coastal escarpment, 12 schools, 19,230 residents, as well as 7 socioeconomically and culturally diverse suburbs – a bit of everything! Importantly, the Wellington airport runway which lies across the Rongotai Isthmus provides us with a natural barrier that is more easily defendable and as an added bonus, the peninsula has been possum free since 2006.
Where are we at? Since Phase 1 began in 2019, our multi-species eradication has achieved some significant wins – Norway rats and weasels have been eradicated, and we are now chasing down the last remaining Ship rats before moving our operational focus to Phase 2.
The outcomes for our native taonga are amazing. There has been a 51% increase in the detection of native birds on the Peninsula! This inclused a 550% increase in Piwakawaka and a 275% increase in riroriro. We’ve also recorded a 200% increase in tree wētā. Anecdotally, we’re spotting species previously absent from the Peninsula such as kārearea (rarer than kiwi), kākāriki, kākā, ruru and geckos.
This is made possible by backyard trapping group, Predator Free Miramar. Dan Henry kickstarted the group in 2017, and 5 years later this hugely motivated community is made up of over 1000 households, that have caught over 10,000 introduced predators! On top of that there is the counter-insurgency crew, a group of comitted lcoals that meet every Sunday to clear traps along the coast and reserves – making up 10% of our operational workforce on the peninsula. You can learn more about the PFM story by reading Dan’s profile and his handy guide ‘How to kill rats and engage a community’.
What’s next? As we continue to clear large areas of the peninsula of Ship rats, the focus moves from active eradication to biosecurity. We are relying on Miramar locals to remain vigilant and be our eyes an ears on the ground for cases of predator reincursion, protecting Miramar as a predator free haven.
Want to report a sighting or have an eradication enquiry? Contact us.
Want to find out more about our eradication on Miramar Peninsula? Have a read of our FAQ’s.