Pest Predator control
Our objective is to attain zero density pests in the Upper Waitematā. Attaining zero density pest is a collective effort and we welcome all Tāmaki Makaurau groups and individuals to join us on this path. As a member of the North West Wildlink initiative we are taking steps to connect the nature across Tāmaki Makaurau and make sure the birds can safely travel between The Hauraki Gulf Islands and the Waitakere Ranges which “provide safe breeding grounds for native birds and other at risk species such as tuatara, weta punga and a large range of lizards” (https://www.northwestwildlink.org.nz/). Our local community groups all have predator control strategies in place.
Why is animal pest control so important for our natives?
Possums, stoats, and rats are the main predators of our indigenous plants, and animals. Possums eat large quantities of indigenous vegetation and prey on invertebrates and birds. They are the major cause of loss of forest canopy health and can cause major changes in the species present in native forests.
Rats and stoats prey on indigenous birds, reptiles and invertebrates. They have caused the decline or extinction of many of our native insects and lizards. Along with mice they affect the regeneration of some plants by eating seeds and seedlings.
In freshwater systems, pest fish (eg, gambusia and koi carp) are a major threat to both native ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems. Most freshwater pest species are found only in a small number of waterbodies or small parts of the country.
Pest plant control
“The Auckland region has over 700 introduced plant species which self-propagate in the wild. Many of these are considered weeds and some can cause serious harm to our native environment, be an economic threat to farmers and horticultural producers or threaten human health. These serious weeds are termed ‘pest plants’ and are subject to control or restrictions under the Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS) .
This strategy places requirements on landowners and occupiers to control pest plants to prescribed standards, using suitable control methods”. (http://pestplants.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/pest-plants/).
Our groups organise regular working bees to keep up with the pest plants in the Upper Waitematā. We are always keen on sharing our knowledge and have regular workshops to help identify pest plants and weeds. We also are a part of Channel Mag “pest plant of the month” steering group alongside other Kaipatiki, Devonport-Takapuna and Hibiscus and Bays restoration groups. We create monthly flyers with the “pest plant of the month” and ways to identify and get rid of them.