Glenfern Sanctuary 2nd Bait Drop
by Tony Bouzaid

  After waiting for 3 weeks we finally got a weather window suitable for the second bait drop and completed it on the 5th August. We required 3 days of fine weather after the drop to ensure the bait stayed viable on the ground long enough to be effective.

Meanwhile we have been trapping and baiting for rodents in the buffer Zones outside the fence, checking the fenceline and tracking for rodents along the shoreline inside the fence. Since the 3 weeks after the first bait drop we have seen no sign of rodents or rabbits.

Update on Monitoring

We have just finished the first monitoring run for rodents across the peninsula with 9 team members. After 5 days of intensive tramping only 1 rat was located under a house in Arthur’s Bay. Apart from rain at night and a couple of heavy showers during the day, the weather has been good and the cards were left out for 2 nights then taken in over the next three days. Emma and Scott Sambell did an amazing job of producing a map of the peninsula for every ‘Pathway’ that were assigned to the individuals first for laying the tracking tunnel cards then collecting them. Some of the routes on these pathways have to be experienced! Radios were used by each team member and some of the comments coming back to Base were hilarious To get the 50m x 50m density for the tracking tunnels means that the contour lines can end up very close together creating very steep cross falls. However it is a very positive sign that the bait drops have been successful. No rabbits or pig sign but two instances of fresh cat scat. The next run will be early October when unfortunately we won’t have Scott and Emma, since they are heading for Australia, but Joanne O’Reilly will be taking up the baton for Envirokiwi.

My grateful thanks to all the staff and volunteers who helped make this so successful. It was a great team effort with a few aching muscles to make everyone aware of what has been achieved.