Latest chew card study shows community trapping makes a difference
Results from a recent chew card study on the Miramar peninsula shows community trapping efforts are successfully lowering rat numbers, especially in the suburbs.
In urban areas where we have a high number of residents’ trapping, we’ve found rat numbers have reduced - only four cards chewed in 2019 compared to 18 cards chewed in 2018.
The cards which use peanut butter to attract animals, were placed and collected by volunteers across 259 points across the peninsula. The chew marks on each card were then analysed to estimate animal populations in the area.
This data is now being used to help us find the best locations on the peninsula for trapping rats. We also found where we are getting repeat rat chews (year on year) this often correlates with areas of well-known household rubbish dumping.
Limiting food sources for rats is something we’re looking at before we begin our Miramar eradication, if we want to get to zero rats, stoats and weasels on the peninsula we need to make the traps and bait stations as enticing as possible. This means limiting the ‘all you can eat’ rat buffet of rubbish and composts so they are more likely to forage from our traps and bait stations.
A big thank you to Greater Wellington Regional Council for managing the survey, and also to Conservation Volunteers NZ for providing the volunteer resources.
Posted: 27 May 2019