13 Aug 2017

Plan for pest-free Auckland peninsula underway

11:20 am on 13 August 2017

Plans have been announced to make part of Auckland's Devonport Peninsula predator-free, under a new initiative led by the Department of Conservation.

The aim is to rid the entire Devonport peninsula of predators, said Maggie Barry.

The aim is to rid the entire Devonport peninsula of predators. Photo: 123RF

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced plans for traps to be set around Maungauika or North Head.

The traps will be set 25 metres apart from each other around the base of the mountain to target rats.

"We're making a conscious effort to get rid of all the rats on Maungauika, because rats have been decided to be the worst of the three predators here in Devonport.

"[The traps] will form a barrier and we're putting those all around the base of the mountain, and then we're putting a series of rat trap stations right across the North Head itself so we can eradicate all of the rats."

DOC, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Auckland Council were working together to make the whole Devonport peninsula pest-free.

"Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has provided 1500 rat traps for distribution to people living on the peninsula and is aiming for one trap in every five Devonport households," Ms Barry said.

She said those were the first steps in making all of Auckland free of predators by 2050.

"DOC have the management of North Head, so from all the community groups, we know that the rats have been breeding there and it really is important that the whole community and all the available land is trapped regularly.

"So this trap network that we're putting on North Head will eliminate the rats from there and it's a model we would like to roll out in the rest of Auckland as well."

The Devonport peninsula was a good place to start because it was isolated by water and home to significant native and threatened bird populations, she said.

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