- construction, maintenance & management, breach detection & response
- before, eradication, current situation, future management
Presentation of New Pest Policy
After 6 months of the new pest policy implemented by MEIT we have completed a report on the effects. See below to view this report. Click here to view the notes from our Ecologist Chris Smuts-Kennedy.
Click here for the press release for our newest founder kiwi released on Saturday 3rd March 2012.
May Report on Pest Management Policy
In November 2011, MEIT held a meeting with volunteers to present changes to the pest policy. A six and twelve monthly review of these changes was proposed. This report represents the six monthly review. Each of the changes is examined and some conclusions reached.
1. Apart from mice, the entire maunga remain pest free
This has been achieved. No new pests have become established on the maunga.
2. The enclosures and wetland remain mouse free
Not so good. We had a hole in the wetland fence. We’ve caught a mouse and we’re hoping it’s the only
one. Operations are ongoing.
We have had two trackings in the SE and one in the NE . Again, operations are ongoing. We’re scratching our heads as to how they got in. There wasn’t any fence breaches, which is the usual way. We have found some defects with the fence, but they are minor, and the fence is pretty good on the whole.
3. All pest control must not pose a risk to vulnerable native species
We’ve made sure all of the pest control gear we use is safe to use around vulnerable native species. I’d like to thank all of the tireless volunteers who made us the rat trap boxes, mouse houses, bait stations etc. Thanks to everyone who assisted with this.
4. Rabbits and hares be eradicated as soon as possible
We had this all lined up at the start of March, and unfortunately, the contractor couldn’t make it. He had some illness in the family. We’ve rescheduled for June and looking forward to celebrating the eradication.
5. Brodificoum use be phased out
Done. We now use diphacinone, which brings us into line with DoC best practice.
6. The current monitoring regime is continued and modified as required
We changed the main mountain monitoring. Things seem to be working well. The monthly fence line monitoring is picking up pests like we hoped it would – 3 rats so far. The February entire mountain round didn’t pick up anything other than mice. Quite a few mice in fact, more on than later.
7. Mice control occurs only occurs in the following situations, otherwise they remain uncontrolled
On the fence line in conjunction with Rhodamine B to locate potential fence leaks which can be exploited by other pests, or, at specific locations as required. For example around native species nesting sites.
This was always the most controversial part of the pest policy change, and remains so. The February
monitoring cards were very heavily tracked with mice in some cases. To the extent, some thought they had rats. Safe to say there wasn’t any rats, but it didn’t end there. Mice were regularly being seen in the day time, especially around some of the popular stopping places on the maunga, like the trig on Maungatautari peak.
While of concern, this was expected. Mouse populations naturally rise and fall with the seasons. With the removal of control, we expected mouse presence to increase. We are now seeing the opposite. As winter draws closer, we are catching and tracking less mice. This is one of the reasons we wanted to run the changes for a year, so we can see what the mouse population does across all seasons.
We have not found any evidence of mouse burrowing. A hard thing to determine. We were concerned other pests could exploit mouse burrows and reinvade the maunga. This hasn’t happened. Of the three rats we tracked, two were adjacent to culverts, which are our traditional reinvasion points.
We remain engaged with Landcare Research who are studying the impact of mice on the maunga. They do not have any new research to present, but are not surprised by what developed over summer.
After six months trialling these changes to the pest policy, nothing has caused MEIT, at this stage, to alter its policy in the next six months. The explosion of mice over summer was a worry, but we need to see the impact of the winter months.
On the website is a paper from Chris Smuts Kennedy regarding the potential impact of mice on the maunga. He presented this at the meeting with volunteers in November 2011. His conclusions haven’t changed. Yes, mice will have an impact. Will it impact on what we want to reintroduce? Unlikely, but who can say. This situation is unique. We need more study. Landcare Research should be able to supply more data as to the impact of mice in the September review.
We welcome any feedback you may have on this report, or from your own work on the maunga. Feel free to contact the team at MEIT email email@example.com.
- before, reintroduction plan/s, monitoring programme/s
- Click here to view the Maungatautari hihi translocation report published in Conservation Evidence
- Click here to view the progress report from EcoQuest who maintain a monitoring programme on Maungatautari and Pirongia.
General Ecological Management
- main mountain, show case area (Southern Enclosure)
Ecoman and Biodiversity Reports from our Natural Heritage Team
Click here to read the Ecoman Report from our Ecologist Chris Smuts-Kennedy released 16 March 2012.
Click here to read the Ecoman Report released 19 December 2011.
Click here to read the latest report released 9 October 2011 from our Ecologist Chris Smuts-Kennedy
Maungatautari's Value to Biodiversity
- exports, contribution to global biodiversity, species recovery
- inappropriate and extinct species
Follow this link for the latest report from EcoQuest on five minute bird counts that have been completed from 2007 to 2011.
If you are planning a research project on the maunga please complete the attached form and post or email it to the office for approval to be given. Please ensure this completed form is received by the office 14 days before the next meeting. The last meeting was held on 11th June 2013, and is held bi monthly.
Ecosystem in the Future
- decades, centuries, millennia ahead