We are almost predator free on the peninsula!
As we near the end of the year, we’re excited to let you know we are almost predator free on the Miramar Peninsula.
Over the last six months we’ve gone from tens of thousands of rats on the peninsula to tens of rats. We are closing in on the last few individual rats in the residential areas, we’re working with the best team and adapting and developing new strategies, including new traps, different types of bait and additional monitoring tools.
Here’s a summary of where we’re at:
- The vast majority of bush and coastal areas show no rat activity. There are only two spots on the coastline we are now targeting.
- There has been no rat activity at the airport for over a month. We are removing the infrastructure within the airport perimeter.
- Bait take has reduced on the barrier/buffer zone, this means we can now activate traps on the Rongotai Isthmus, which will also stop rats getting back into Miramar.
- Of course, it’s not just about rats. Mustelids were our target too, and we have good news to share. We have had no mustelid activity for over a month and a half.
For the rat trapping geeks, here’s some additional information you might be interested in:
We dissected all of the rats caught over the last month, and found:
- No Norway rats were caught - only Ship rats left.
- We’ve caught a few pregnant female rats. This is good news, as they are not usually out foraging, but with dominant male rats being knocked out, it’s drawing them out to feed.
- Young juvenile rats are becoming fertile earlier than usual, this is also in response to the dominant male rats being taken out of the picture.
Thank you to everyone that has supported our project over the year. Together we’re making history, and we’re almost there!
Extra eyes and ears on the ground are more important than ever, please let us know if you suspect rat activity. If you manage your own community trap, please keep your trap set and freshly baited.
Some of the black bait stations now have traps set inside. If you are interested and want to get involved, why not peer in through the entrance hole and see if anything has been caught inside (please don’t touch – they are painful on the fingers!) and give us a call (0800 no rats) or email if you see any catches.
Meri Kirihimete from the Predator Free Wellington team.
Posted: 19 December 2019