Image Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/
Latest figures show native birds have increased by 51 percent on Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula.
This includes a whopping 550 percent rise in the pīwakawaka / fantail population of, a 275 percent increase in riroriro / grey warblers, and a 49 percent increase in tūī.
Possums and one species of rat have already been eliminated, and there are plans to expand the movement as a part of the Predator Free 2050 goal.
Predator Free Wellington project director James Willcocks said it was a “long, hard journey” to get to this point.
“This kind of work, we don’t believe it’s been done before anywhere in the world.”
He told First Up that the team had been combing the peninsula and servicing up to 11,000 different traps and bait stations.
“It’s been a huge effort, and that’s been done in partnership with the community … heaps of volunteers and working with about 3000 individual homeowners and businesses.”
Willcocks said the most damaging predators in Aotearoa were mustelids, stoats, weasels, rats and possums.
“Our country is basically at the top of the list in terms of threatened and endangered species. We’re saying enough, not on our watch. We want to pass over an environment that’s not half trash to the next generation.”
The organisation has 300 cameras monitoring rat activity on the peninsula.
“We used to have thousands of rat photographs to scan through weekly, now instead of rats we are picking up kākāriki (parakeet) on our cameras, and we are seeing more images of kororā (little blue penguins) than rats on the peninsula which is epic,” Willcocks said.
As for cats and dogs, he said it was safer if cats were kept indoors at night.