2013 Pest Control Results

Just finished compiling our results for last year, and once again we’ve got some impressive totals thanks to everyone’s’ hard work.

The 2013 summary is:

Possums 2176, Rats 74, Ferrets 0, Stoats 15, Weasels 0, Feral cats 2, Rabbits 5, Pigs 3, Hedgehogs 9

Our time spent doing this: 1420 hours (x $15/hour = $21,300 worth of labour)

Of course we also did a possum and rat knockdown over late winter, so will have taken out a lot more possums and rats than this in reality. Steve Henderson at NRC helped me to monitor the knockdown, and our official result was a reduction in possums from a 28% BMI (Bite Mark Index) to just 11%. This means we started with a moderate number of possums in the forest, and reduced them to a low level. The target to be strived for is a BMI between 10 – 15% so we well achieved this.

Total results since we began in 2009:

Possums 7966, Rats 484, Ferrets 2, Stoats 41, Weasels 1, Feral cats 17, Rabbits 91, Pigs 11, Hedgehogs 30.

As if all the birds singing away to us in our forests weren’t proof enough, then we only need to look to these results to know that together, we are making a huge difference.


Forest News from Whareora Rd

Two more huge possums to remove this morning , one the largest fattest one I have ever collected.I have reset the traps and checked the others.
Rat numbers.…….well we have seen six dead ships rats , they have been taking the bait so they are very much present in large numbers. They must have a secret burial spot.
Possums…..150 their numbers are decreasing and our property is a bit of a motorway from Ian Franks bush.
Regeneration of native fauna is ongoing and this is a positive sign.
Hawks eating the new fluffy quail  chicks seems sad, though the diving of the Kereru daily lifts your spirits.
Tuis  supping the juice and pith from grapefruits in this hot weather, and we are regularly changing the bowls of drinking water to keep them cool.
A large Tui and her son were bathing in the water remaining in the tank lid above the cottage path, splashing and wallowing while being a little vocal
No signs of new bird life, although we have two noisy and uninvited paradise ducks who hurtle down on to the lawn mid evening, the female is nesting under the cottage.
They appear like low flying jets, and I am sure they are not native.
The pohutakawa behind the bedroom window is a grand central station for the tui clan, wish we had more of these special trees.
The bush and its challenges brings lots of joy.
Merry xmas to everyone
Rhondda and John.

Possum Traps and Tracking Tunnels

rat-tracksThe most recent visit of the junior land care adventurers group focused on the the first steps land care members take to decrease the number or possums on their land.

Our group began with a simple story of the owners going out on their deck to look at the stars, hearing noises, shining a torch into the bush and seeing many sets of red eyes

Possums leave droppings and the landowner needs to observe where these are found, another way of being aware that the furry pests are presently on their land.

This comment was illustrated by using black gelatine lollies……the fun element always kept to the fore.

As the whareora Mt Tiger landcare trust made available new red timms traps, the team focused on learning to bait these with apple and carrots, supported by Talia and Paul from the dpt of conservation.

Everything was kept very simple and the one step at a time learning mostly hands on.

Talia demonstrated using a tracking tunnel and provided information to the teacher for further referral. (Find out how to make your own tracking tunnel…)

Red Timms Traps Trapping tunnel

Group members explored through the middle track, and three groups chose an area for ownership, marking their territory with a bright yellow sign and placing their names on it.

Top priority was given to safety, after the timms traps were baited the juniors turned them over and the practical setting of the traps was done by the landowner.

  • Morning tea was wolfed down, everyone was interactive busy and happy.
  • Fibre art was introduced to give the adventurers the opportunity to create insects which when dried will be used in the trapping area.
  • Teacher, parent supporters and land care owners working in real harmony, enjoying this innovative and simplistic way of learning.
  • The junior group were a delight , focused and appreciative.

After discussion we hope to develop more practical on site props and continue with the creation of a enviro education project for the very young.

Field plans and an analysis of this project will be made available to the Whareora Mt tiger landcare trust and when finalised available to schools and other landcare groups.

Thankyou Junior Adventurers from Whareora Mt Tiger landcare we are proud of you for showing qualities of leadership and enthusiasm.

Thank you Glenbervie school board for making this happen, and the opportunity to work with a skilled enthusiastic teacher Mrs Jacque Hayman.

Thank you Ngaire Tyson for believing in the project, always there with support you are a treasure.


Pest control spreadsheet results

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year! And since it’s the New Year – It’s that time of year again when I pester you for your pest control results…

Please send me your results for:

1) Number and type of any pest animals killed, shot, trapped, run over, poisoned, whatever, i.e. 24 possums, 1 rabbit, 2 pigs, 8 rats.

2) The number of hours you spent doing all that

3) Pest plants destroyed by you last year, i.e. Taiwan cherry, pampas, moth plant, climbing asparagus, Eleagnus, etc.

4) The number of hours you spent destroying those weeds

I’ve attached the current spread sheet – take a look at what we recorded for 2011 and you’ll see how I use your info.

If you don’t reply in the next couple of weeks you know I will hunt you down by any means possible (i.e. telephone) to extract the information!

We also need to meet soon and sort out how we want to do things in 2013. Our funding will finish this year – do we want to apply for more? And I reckon we need to shift around some of the jobs involved in Whareora Land care to give others a turn. I need to resign from being chairperson for strategic reasons which I can explain at the meeting…

Will organise that soon

Take care


Click the link below to open up the spreadsheet of pest controls

Pest control spreadsheet

Maungatika Scenic Reserve


In case you missed it, attached is the article that appeared in this week’s Leader regarding North Tec’s adoption of the Maungatika Scenic Reserve.

The North Tec guys are already underway in there and have already hauled out a fair few possums.

The next step is to get some funding to purchase some of the extra traps and rat poison they need. Applied to the Northland Regional Councils’ ‘Other Agency Fund’ this week for that purpose

Any queries or comments just let me know!


Click here to read the article from the leader