Spring 2012

INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE KOTUKU RESTORATION
PROJECT
The intensity of rodent control, particularly over the summer months, raised
the question of the sustainability of the project in the long term. The Glenfern
Sanctuary Board asked Auckland Council Environment to put together a
task force of people involved in pest control to review the Kotuku Restoration
Project with a view to finding a way to achieve effective results with more
economic use of resources. The review was to be wide ranging to include
other potential resources and methods of obtaining them. The first result of
the review produced a new Rat Control Plan based on successful models
in other parts of the region. Largely changing from a trapping to a baiting
regime, this would be an expansion of other rat control projects at Mohunga
and Kaikoura Island. We will commence the new system in September.
Part of the new system will be to run three index lines across the peninsula
and another two outside the Sanctuary area, all of which wiill be monitored
five times a year. While this does not tell us how many rats are on the
peninsula it does provide an indication of density. The Access database will
be modified to report on data collected in the same format as ‘Ark in the
Park’.
Index lines were monitoired prior to the new baiting regime, and results are
shown in the figure at right.
One of the presentations
at the launch of the State
of the Environment Report
on the Hauraki Gulf at the
Auckland War Memorial
Museum highlighted the
plight of the black petrel.
It seems that despite our
remarkable increase in
nesting sites on Kotuku, the
population that only exists
on Aotea and Hauturu are still in decline, largely due to by-catch on long
lines. There is some hope that new technology currently being developed
may help to reverse this decline. Biz Bell (the scientist monitoring the black
petrels) is attaching transmitters to fledglings to monitor their travels after
hatching and we may get to place some on our birds in the near future.