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Predator control at Matuku Link

To keep our native birds and plants safe in New Zealand, we need to protect them from pests: stoats, weasels, ferrets, possums, dogs, cats, goats, rabbits… all those nice furry four legged introduced animals. At Matuku Link we do it by trapping and baiting. Trapping is done with several types of traps (mainly DOC200 traps and self-resetting A24 traps) and baiting is done with a toxin. Rats and possums eat this delicious smelling ‘bait’ which we place in ‘bait stations’: white plastic (from recycled milk bottles) boxes nailed to trees. Those boxes are called ‘bait stations’ and are placed in a grid pattern in the bush. Every 100 meters we have made a line running from north to south, recognizable by orange tape, in the bush. And on that line we’ve placed a bait station every 50 meters.

This means every family of rats should have at least one of these bait stations in their territory, enabling us to keep their numbers down. To find out if we are successful, we use monitoring tunnels. A couple of times a year we fill these black plastic tunnels with a bit of peanut butter and a piece of white cardboard with ink on it. When an animal goes into the tunnel to eat the peanut butter, they will leave their prints and the next day we can find out who is hiding in our bush!

We sometimes do a “Baiting Bee”: filling up the bait stations all at once when the seasons change. Bring sturdy boots, long pants, long sleeves, a small backpack/daypack (and gloves if you have them) and we’ll instruct you on the day. Be prepared for some bush bashing!

If you are interested in joining our predator control efforts, please contact Annalily: matukulink@gmail.com