With the help from Predator Free Hauraki Coromandel’s field support team, we have made further progress in making more track access to install traps and bait stations to control rats and possums. The Philproof bait stations are secured above ground on trees to contain the bait we use (double-tap) a few times per year. Signage has been installed in track areas in the block and along the coast areas. This project is funded by Lotteries Environment and Heritage and donations from community members with ongoing support from Pub Charity for our contractors servicing time.
Completed wilding pine removal work, and planned regeneration of native trees facilitated by Mercury Bay Environmental Trust will provide a beautiful ‘backdrop” vista from Whitianga and a healthy habitat for biodiversity. Our next project installation has commenced in the areas of Ferry Landing (Whitianga Rock/ Pa), Back Bay, Maramaratotara (the bush area up behind Front Beach). This area comprises about 30 hectares of conservation land, a mix of TCDC reserve (includes the cemetery) and DOC land now part of Ngati Hei Settlement land.
We have commenced by installing monitoring tunnels. These will give us a baseline to give us data on the pests in the area. We have also installed Flipping timmy possum traps which are secured out of reach of non-target species and off track in the area to help mitigate the damage that possums do to new foliage. So far, it’s a great start; four caught over the first two nights. Possums eat buds, flowers, fruit/berries and nectar, (which means they compete with native birds and reptiles for food sources), as well as birds eggs and young chicks.
The hard work of taking DOC200 box traps into the area to target stoats and rats, will begin shortly. The Cooks Beach Fire Brigade team will help with this (part of their keep fit regime-ha ha). We wish to thank Trust Waikato and TCDC Community Grant Scheme and private donors for providing the cost of the traps.
Caption: Barb Fredericksen (B Stitched, Whitianga, sponsor and mother of Brendan) hands over the generous donation to Roly Chaney, Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief. B Stitched does all the Club's embroidery. She is flanked by Vic McLean, Poker Run coordinator, and Brendan Fredericksen (A 2 B Signs, Whitianga, sponsor, co-organiser and Barb's son) with the cheque for $2100 for the Fire Brigade, this year's recipient, raised from the Poker Run.