The DOC grant of $18,448 enables increased rat control to counter a surge in rat numbers resulting from a widespread beech seed fall that provided more food for rodents. It is funding an additional 20 self-resetting A24 traps and use of the toxin diphacinone in bait stations to supplement the existing trapping network.
Forest & Bird’s Te Hoiere Bat Recovery Project has been carrying out predator control since 2010 to protect the long-tailed bat population in Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve in Marlborough.
DOC Sounds Operations Manager Dave Hayes says, “The long-tailed bat has a conservation status of ‘nationally critical’ – the highest level of risk. The population centred on Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve and the Pelorus River is important as one of the last and largest remaining bat populations in the top of the South Island.
“We greatly appreciate Forest & Bird’s work to protect the bats and we are pleased to support them with funding for increased rat control to improve the survival chances of the bats that are under threat from the escalation in rat numbers.”
Forest & Bird top of the south regional manager Debs Martin says that rat numbers have surged as a result of the mega-mast last summer.
“Trapping lines that were catching half a dozen rats are now catching up to 45 within a week – and many more aren’t being caught as our monitoring is still showing high numbers. This grant is vital in helping protect the roost trees of bats as they move into breeding season,” she says.
DOC Community Fund grants have been given to 15 community conservation projects in the top of the South Island. They include funding to two community groups to support predator trapping they’ve been carrying out for more than 10 years.
The Friends of Rotoiti has been given a DOC Community Fund grant of $26,444 to upgrade their stoat and rat trapping network with new traps. The Friends of Rotoiti’s trapping network was established in 2001 to support DOC’s Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project in Nelson Lakes National Park.
The Friends of Cobb has received a DOC Community Fund grant of $19,900 over three years to support their stoat trapping over about 8000 ha in the Cobb Valley in Kahurangi National Park. The group has been trapping in the area since 2006 to help protect native species such as kiwi, kea, kākā, whio/blue duck, and rock wren/tuke.
DOC Community Fund grants totalling $8 million have been given to 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand. The fund is directed at practical on-the-ground projects that maintain and restore the diversity of our native plants and wildlife and encourage people to get involved in conservation and take part in recreation in our natural areas.