Quick Catch for Reinvading Rats
by Judy Gilbert

 

The Conservation Dept. needs to be congratulated for the efficient and effective capturing of the rats which recently re-invaded pest free Motuora and Motuihe Islands. Pest-free islands will always run the risk of reinvasion—its not for nothing that rats have the deserved reputation for being the most successful mammals in the world —and a quick response plan is needed to respond to a suspected sighting. On the Barrier when a sighting of a suspected mustelid or possum is reported both the Conservation Dept. and the Auckland Regional Council have equipment and people ready to go setting up a trapping or monitoring grid in the area.

The involvement of visitors and people based on pest-free islands has been critical to tracks being spotted and then followed up with comprehensive trapping. Pest specific trained dogs have also assisted the success of locate and capture.