Pest management has been active in the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary site since 2006. The ‘Mainland Island’ concept of using trapping and poisoning strategies can be effective only in managing pest populations. Eradicating pests entirely and keeping them out of an ecosytem can only be achieved on an off shore island or with a pest-proof fence. We are only using trapping to control the pests in the Brook sanctuary. A video of mammalian pests moving around the outside of a pest-proof fence, looking for a way in. The purpose of the trapping and hunting programme on this site is to help measure the level of pests and to reduce pest numbers in advance of the fence being constructed. This will help the existing native wildlife to flourish and reduce damage to the native forest. Trapping is used to capture mice, rats, possums, stoats, weasels and feral cats. Trapped area: 200 – 300 hectares Current Traps DOC 200s 347 stoats, weasels, rats, mice Possum Traps ~140 Victors ~600 rats, mice Trapping lines follow contours Altitudes 100 – 400m 100m between lines DOC 200s spaced at 100m intervals Victors spaced between DOC 200s Possums – strategic placement Larger animals, including goats, pigs and deer, are controlled by hunting. We have a problem with pests in NZ as this series of photos shows. 26-million native birds were killed in NZ forests last year. Another 26-million will die in the next 12-months. Possums, stoats and ship-rats have all been caught on surveillance video cameras ripping apart helpless eggs and nestlings. These introduced predators started killing decades ago. In the darkness of night it's unseen carnage on a massive scale. Its slow, cruel and indiscriminate.
Weeding is an ongoing task in the sanctuary as weeds continue to drift or be air lifted by birds. We have an active weeding crew who take care of their own plot or sweep through the undergrowth removing weed seedlings such as old man's beard and sycamore.