Trapping rats to protect bats

With the beginning of April comes the end of the Kirikiriroa City-Wide bat survey. There have been 70 monitors out and about in the city; in the gullies, at the university and all around every suburb in town. These surveys happen every year and are an important way we can gauge the activity of pekapeka-tou-rou in our city and how their population is getting along. You can find the latest surveys on the WRC website, along with recordings of bat calls to hear –

bat clings to bark upside-down
Pekapeka-tou-roa in its preferred habitat; forest areas where there are mature trees to use as roost sites. (Source: Colin O’Donnell, Department of Conservation)

Now we know that there are bat populations in the city we can do all in our power to protect them. The council has been working on plans for the Peacocke developments in the south of city (situated in and aorund one of pekapeka-tou-roa principle habitation areas) and you can find information about that by following this link—Peacocke-Structure-Plan.aspx.

But what can you do to help protect the taoga species in the city? the first and foremost anyone can do is buy a rat traps from Go Eco in Frankton for your backyard. You can achieve numerous things at one time; rat populations in your home can be managed, your compost will not become a house for rats, wires wont be chewed as often, but most importantly you can help provide safe places for birds, bats, and lizards to inhabit.

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Rats are a real problem for all our native species, but in the case of bats they are very troublesome as they breed very qucikly, live in large populations and reside in simliar habitats to our bats. Pekapekatou-roa prefer knot holes in mature trees as roost sites in and around the city. there are some that use artificial bat boxes as roosts but these are few in number and the current thinking is that where there is available native foliage suitable for roosts pekapeka will not use artificial bat boxes. that means that when rats take over mature trees as homes, then bats are pushed out and put under more presssure.

Please consider trapping rats in your home for setting out bait if your prefer, to help our species survive. this is most important now, as rats are hungry and looking for food in the form of birds and bats. The aim of Predator Free Hamilton is to achieve a biodiverse city where predator numbers are low so it would be great if everyone who can help is trapping in their backyard.