On 12 February Predator-Free Hamilton (PFH) Trust members Gwyneth Verkerk and Kemble Pudney gave a presentation on Predator-Free NZ, PFH, reasons for predator control and identifying common pests, trapping methods and how to get involved. It was very interesting to hear the range of environmental activities that club members are involved in and it brought home to us the number of different perspectives there are on predator control – but all with the same end in mind.
KP 13 February 2018
In the six months late June to know I have caught 16 rats using Victor-type traps and trapping tunnels – 10 Norway and 6 ship. The species balance is probably swayed by having a trap at the neighbour’s compost, where she had a few Norways. Otherwise the captures have all been in our gully. I am maintaining six traps in all but only four have actually caught anything. In the same period I have detected only mice and insects via tracking tunnels and one chew on a card – possum. I have caught one possum but there is still another about. I conclude that small scale monitoring when overall numbers are low is not all that useful, but that it’s definitely possible to trap rats with the old technology.
On 6 October Predator-Free Hamilton hosted a weel attended presentation from Kelvin Hastie, NEXT Predator-Free CHampion, at Hamilton Gardens. His talk and the Q & A session was videoed and can be viewed here (click on the link then again on the dropdown that will appear):
Predator Free Hamilton recently hosted Kelvin Hastie at a seminar at Hamilton Gardens. He talked about his experiences establishing Predator Free suburbs in Hamilton – how he got strated, and how the idea has mushroomed. His talk was filmed and will soon be available on video. Meanwhile Monica Peters has written an excellent article about it for her blog: https://monicalogues.com/2017/10/09/how-to-set-up-a-predator-free-neighbourhood-post-1/
It’s well worth a look – plenty of good ideas and information.
DOC scientist Craig Gillies passes on some wise words from his mentor, Dick Veitch, “It’s not the ones you catch that matter, it’s the ones you didn’t catch”. It’s obvious when you think about it, but it seems to be surprisingly easy to forget. Read more in this profile on Craig on the PFNZ site.
The first in an occasional post on home trapping experiences at our suburban gully section.
I have been losing bait from rat traps without them being sprung. I set mousetraps in the rat trap tunnels but if one was sprung the other would invariably spring too, and Victors are a bit tough on mouse traps, so I have made some smaller trap tunnels and placed the rat and mouse tunnels side by side.
And – we have a visitor:
Time to re-bait and re-locate the Timms.
At the new Waikato Environment Centre, corner of Kent and Commerce Streets, in the old Post Shop Building, Tuesday 1 August, 5.15 to 7.30.
Why control predators
Monitoring & identifying predators in your area
The right traps for your area and identified predators,
Setting up and maintaining traps
What Predator-Free Hamilton can do for you.
Questions and discussion
See you there!
An interesting article by Chris Smuts-Kennedy in the Waikato Times of Friday 23 June. It’s a good summary of the ecological place of cats. See the pdf file: CATS_0001
Professor Bruce Clarkson is currently delivering the Charles Fleming Memorial Lecture Series – see http://royalsociety.org.nz/whats-happening/our-events/urban-ecological-restoration-the-new-frontier/ for the programme. He has also been interviewed by Jesse Mulligan on National Radio: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201842483/how-to-bring-nature-back-to-cities
It’s an excellent overview and puts our predator control efforts in context. Meanwhile if you would like to know more about rats in particular, here’s an interview with Predator-Free Hamilton member and Landcare Research scientist John Innes: