Photo credit: Nga manu images
Working Together to Eliminate Pest Animals
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have our rare and wonderful native birdlife safe and happy, feeding in our backyards across Kaipātiki? Predator control is a key way we can help to keep our native species, birds, insects and forests safe and thriving. The Auckland Council, community group volunteers and backyard trappers are all working towards a healthier neighbourhood for everyone.
What Can I Do To Help Eliminate Predators?
Join your Area Halo to trap predators and protect wildlife.
Already trapping or baiting? Join our PFK Project on Trap.nz so your efforts can contribute to the whole picture in Kaipātiki.
Read the latest from our Citizen Science Chew Card Campaign on where we are being successful, and what areas need more trapping.
Check out our events page for any upcoming pest workshops to upskill yourself.
Learn how to Collect Pest Data here.
What is a Predator Blitz and Pulse Control?
Predator control is one thing we can all do to create a safe habitat for birds to nest, roost, breed and feed. PFK would love to see one in every three homes trapping rodents, and a variety of areas with additional control for larger pests like possum and hedgehog. Not only do these invasive mammals have the potential to destroy native bird populations, they can also destroy insect populations, freshwater habitat, and harm entire forests of native plant life.
You can trap all year around if you want, or you can ‘pulse’ control. A pulse is when predator control is undertaken at special intervals. These dates are selected because they are timed around food scarcity, rodent breeding cycles or native bird breeding cycles and help maintain volunteer energy. The Kaipātiki community undertakes predator pulsing in February, April, August and November each year.
What Animals Should I Be Trapping?
Below are links and information to find out more about each kind of mammalian predator we have in Kaipātiki, the main groups being: Rodents (Rats and Mice), Possums, and Hedgehogs/Mustelids. You will also learn what you can do at home or as a volunteer to rid our area of these unwanted strangers, in favor of the native wildlife that have called Aotearoa their home for generations.
Rodents - Control Guide and Information Sheet
In suburban areas like Kaipātiki, a huge threat to our native birds and insects are the Ship rat and Norway rat. A number of areas in Kaipātiki are already running rat control programmes - both in reserves and in Halos. If you want to join the ‘Predator Blitz’ and host a device, contact us and we can help connect you with a pest control programme happening in your area. Rat traps are available from the PFK Tool Shed.
Possums - Control Guide and Information Sheet
Possums are voracious eaters, in New Zealand they consume an estimated 21,000 tonnes of vegetation a night. They dine on the new growth of trees - the shoots, buds and leaves, eat birds’ eggs and chicks out of the nest. They can travel long distances into urban gardens to eat rose bushes and fruit trees and are a big problem for our biodiversity. Possum traps are available to borrow from the PFK Tool Shed. Possum traps are easily installed high on a tree or fence to make them safer for small children or pets.
Hedgehogs and Mustelids (Stoats, Ferrets, Weasels) - Control Guide and Information Sheet
Hedgehogs are special and endangered where they came from in Great Britain, but are strangers and key predators to New Zealand's wildlife. They eat eggs, ground nesting birds, chicks, lizards and invertebrates every night. Hedgehogs are normally targeted with a DOC200 trap to be humane.
Stoats are few and far between in urban areas, and quite rare in Kaipātiki, but when present are a serious threat to native birds, bird nests and eggs. If you see a stoat in Kaipātiki, please contact us immediately to report it so we can deploy a DOC200 trap in this area. We are particularly keen for residents to host traps around Soldiers Bay, Eskdale and Le Roys Bush.
Wasps - Control Guide and Information Sheet
Introduced invasive wasps including the Common, German, Australian paper wasp and Asian paper wasp kill and consume a staggering number of native insects and honeydew which would usually otherwise feed other native wildlife. They have even been reported to attack newly-hatched birds. They have no natural predators, and they can multiply and multiply each breeding season.
If you see a swarm of wasps in a public reserve, immediately contact the Auckland Council Contact Centre on (09) 301 0101. You can help with homemade traps or by getting serious and using a community tool and product called VESPEX. We sometimes have tools available for wasp control at our PFK Tool Shed.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of our volunteers is important to us. The trapping and baiting techniques we use in Kaipātiki are relatively simple and easy for anyone to do. However it is important to learn how to safely set and unset, or use poison substances responsibly and keep yourself safe.
Part of our commitment to health and safety involves maintaining a record of any accidents, incidents or near misses that might happen while you are out and about volunteering in Reserves. These records enable us to identify any areas where we could improve on process or practice. Please, if you have an accident, incident or even a 'near miss' while you're volunteering in the bush please register an accident or incident - click here
Before undertaking your work, please read our policy documents that will help keep you safe:
Read our Health and Safety Commitment Policy - click here
Read our Health and Safety During Weed Control - click here
Read our Health and Safety Predator Hazard Sheet - click here