The pest control project for 2014 is now complete. The toxins of Pindone and Feratox® (cyanide) were used again this year, and the results have been satisfactory as shown on the chart below. The ? for the number of marsupials is because we awaiting an expert second opinion on one wax tag, as to whether the bite is a large rat or a small marsupial! The number of kills found was 67 possums, 2 young possums, 6 wallaby and 1 rat. Prior to baiting a trapper also got 22 possums and 1 rat.
The caution period for the reserve will continue until the signs are taken down, approximately 4 months after the stations were cleared at the end of September.
This time is required for the complete decomposition of the carcasses and degredation of the bait. Until the signs are removed please do not touch any carcasses and remember to keep dogs out of the reserve at all times.
The annual monitoring of bird activity in Tikitapu Reserve, to determine if bird abundance is increasing as a result of the pest management strategy that is carried out in the Reserve, has now been completed. Counts at each of the 26 established stations were undertaken during November and shared by twelve volunteers. With a minimum of three counts per station this entailed quite a number of early morning hours. This year the 20 stations within the Tikitapu Reserve were supplemented with a further six stations in a nearby area of bush where there has been no pest control for comparison. Although the data is still being collated we can see that there are lots of tui, bellbirds and grey warblers in the Reserve. Other birds commonly recorded include tomtits, whiteheads, both shining and long-tailed cuckoos, chaffinch, silvereyes and fantails. Less frequently heard were kingfisher, wood pigeon, eastern rosella and blackbirds and a number of others. A comprehensive report , including comparisons with counts made in previous years will be prepared for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council which supports the pest control programme.
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.
Phone: 3628 480 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org