The results are:
• Rats - Prebaiting 46% reduced to 6% post baiting and 8% at follow up after 1 month.
• Marsupials - Prebaiting 5% increased to 11% post baiting and 26% at follow up after 1 month.
It is disappointing to get an increase in marsupials after baiting. They appeared to mainly be young possums or wallabies that are presumed to have survived after their mothers died from the cyanide. Then after a month there must have also been some reinvasion into the area.
A total of 29 possums and 4 wallaby plus1 joey were found by the bait stations. The kill traps in place since last December also removed 48 possums. As it has been decided not to do a bird count every year, one did not take place this year.
A monthly roster of volunteers ensured the Mistletoe and Nature walks were checked and maintained.
The caution period for the reserve will continue until the signs are taken down, approximately 4 months after the stations were cleared at the beginning of October.
This time is required for the complete decomposition of the carcasses and degradation of the bait. Until the signs are removed please do not touch any carcasses or bait and remember to keep dogs out of the reserve at all times.
A big thank you to all those who have helped with the Tikitapu Pest Control Project this year. The project depends on your assistance.
New volunteers are always welcome and if anyone is interested in being involved in the pest control programme, or going on the roster to check the Nature and Mistletoe walks please let me know. Some of our older volunteers are finding they are no longer able to continue with this project and we would love to get some younger people on the volunteer list.