At this stage we have found 58 possum and 2 wallaby carcasses and expect to find more when the stations are cleared. Post bait monitoring will then be carried out to see how successful the baiting has been in reducing rat and possum numbers.
Although there should be no bait in the stations after the end of September, the area must be treated with caution until the signs are removed, approximately the end of January.
The pesticides used are effective and safe when properly handled. The use of bait stations allows for the pesticide to be made available to target pest species while at the same time restricting accessibility to native and non-target species. However there is a risk of poisoning to humans and non-target animals such as dogs if the bait is handled carelessly or eaten. Poisoning can occur through eating baits or poisoned animals.
The risk to dogs from pesticide in carcasses will remain until the carcasses have decomposed, which can be up to or more than six months. These risks can be eliminated by following these simple rules:
DO NOT handle any bait
DO NOT allow CHILDREN to wander unsupervised in the treatment area
DO NOT bring DOGS into this area
DO NOT take ANIMALS for eating
The presence of Warning signs indicates that pesticide residues may still bepresent in baits or animals. The removal of signs will tell you that you can resume normal activities in the area. If in doubt, check with DOC.
What do I do if I suspect poisoning?
Always contact your:
Local doctor, or
Local hospital or
National Poisons Centre 0800 764 766
The Department of Conservation has recently carried out a mistletoe count in the Okareka end of the reserve and are delighted with the increased number of plants found, and the way they are spreading towards the Tikitapu end. It is due to the presence of the two endangered species of mistletoe found in the reserve that DOC, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Forest and Bird (Rotorua Branch) combined resources to commence the Pest Control Project in 2003.
The Rotorua Botanical Society control pest weeds and also plant new mistletoe host plants. Okareka residents have benefitted from this with not only the increased presence of mistletoe, but also healthier bush, more birds and less rats and possums, both in the reserve and the village.
Bird counts will be repeated in November.
A small number of plants left over from the planting working bee around the Tarawera Road refuse transfer station will be used to infill a few gaps in the reserve. Otherwise there has been no planting programme required.
I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has helped at the working bees. I am always delighted to have new people to add to the volunteer list. Please contact me if you would like more information or to be added to the list.
Phone 362 8480