North Head/Maungauika to be predator free

Press Release – New Zealand Government

North Head/Maungauika to be predator free

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says Maungauika/North Head on Auckland’s North Shore Devonport Peninsula is to become predator free, a first step towards a predator free Auckland.

Making the announcement today at the historic DOC managed reserve, Ms Barry says the initial target is rats.

”They kill under cover of darkness, they’re cunning and tough and they’re prolific breeders. Rats are the most significant predator on the maunga and to stop them we’re installing a trap network starting with a ring of traps around the base,” Ms Barry says.

“They’ll be set 25 metres apart to form a predator barrier and we’ll install a network of rat traps on the rest of the maunga, 50 metres apart, alongside roads and paths. This is the local community’s chance to step up as DOC will need volunteers to check the traps.”

North Head is a first step along the path to a Predator Free Devonport and then a pest free Auckland.

“DOC, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Auckland Council are 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. I also want to acknowledge and commend the efforts of hard working community volunteers involved with the Devonport Environmental Network (DEN) and the peninsula restoration project Te Manu Hopukia,” Ms Barry says.

“Strategically the Devonport peninsula is a good place to start the Auckland predator free journey because it’s isolated by water and it’s home to significant native and threatened bird populations. It’s also a point of entry to our gulf islands.”

“Controlling predators on the peninsula will help create a safe habitat and a corridor for native birds to return to the mainland. Eventually it’ll expand to cover the whole of Auckland and community by community, town by town, city by city, I’m confident that by 2050 we’ll have a rat, stoat and possum-free New Zealand.”

Background:

• DOC is using victor rat traps at North head, placed in rat boxes and baited with peanut butter.

• Tracking tunnels will also be placed on Maungauika to see if there are other predators, such as stoats and mice that we need to remove to make the maunga predator free.

• The tracking tunnels have ink pads and predators can be identified from the tracks they leave on the pads.

• Once the rat control is underway we’ll look at removing other predators from Maungauika that have been identified by the tracking tunnels

• Rat traps for wider Devonport homes are available from the Devonport Library or people can email enquiries@norats.org to arrange to pick up a rat trap.

• DOC rangers will work show members of the community that volunteer how to set and clear the rat traps.

• Maungauika is one of 14 Tūpuna Maunga returned to the Mana Whenua iwi and hapū of Auckland in a Treaty of Waitangi settlement in 2014.

• The 14 Tūpuna Maunga are: Matukutūruru/Wiri Mountain, Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill, Maungarei/Mount Wellington, Maungawhau/Mount Eden, Maungauika/North Head, Ōwairaka/Te Ahi-kā-a-Rakataura/ Mount Albert, Ōhinerau/Mount Hobson, Ōhuiarangi/Pigeon Mountain, Ōtāhuhu/Mount Richmond, Pukewīwī Puketāpapa/Mount Roskill, Rarotonga/Mount Smart, Te Kōpuke/Tītīkōpuke/Mount St John and Takarunga/Mount Victoria.

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