Pesky rodents on the run

Catch of the day – Graeme Smith with other pest patrol volunteers at Point Wells. Photo, garetheyres@exposure

A nationwide move to eradicate pests such as possums and rats has recruited a new band of volunteers at Point Wells.

The Point Wells Community & Residents Association recently commissioned Northern Pest Control to track predators on the foreshore to get an estimate of their prevalence.

Project manager Laurence Eyres says once it was identified that there was a problem, the project was set up with some funding from the Forest Bridge Trust.

“So far we have caught numerous possums and about eight or so rats,” Laurence says. “No weasels or stoats yet, but the lines have only been patrolled for around three to four weeks so we are really only just getting started.”

Bait stations will be used once printed signs are available and Northern Pest control is providing technical advise on the location of Department of Conservation approved traps, type of bait and what not to do when baiting.

“We are going to fund more traps and encourage householders to trap in their gardens, but we are being very careful not to endanger cats or dogs.”

Training seminars have been run for the enthusiastic volunteers and the project is targeting rats, mustelids, hedgehogs and possums.

The project leader is Peter Thomas, a professional in the field of conservation and ecology.


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