Ruud Kleinpaste: Restoring pest-free New Zealand Collaboratively

Ruud Kleinpaste,
Publish Date
Saturday, 14 October 2017, 2:32p.m.
Pest traps in the garden can bring back an abundance of bird life. (Photo: Getty Images)

If we are to preserve our country’s biodiversity, we’ll need to work together on many fronts. The problem caused by introduced pests (rats, stoats, possums, ferrets, hedgehogs, feral cats etc) are well-known. Our hideous weeds are taking over the native landscape and make it so much more difficult to replant our wetlands and forests.

Predator-Free Crofton Downs (started by Kelvin Hastie) took advantage of the “halo” caused by Zealandia;

It inspired predator-free Miramar and now Predator-Free Wellington.

Imagine each back yard with a rat trap, a mouse trap and a possum trap (or two, three, four)

It’s proven to take hardly any time at all for the native birds and lizards to return.

Even if only every fourth garden has a trap, the results are noticeable!

 Predator-proof fences have been popping up in various places – however, these safe reserves (Orokonui, Brook Waimarama, Rotokare, Maungatautari, Omaha Spit, etc) are expensive to build, so it would pay to look for alternative methods of suppressing or eliminating predator pests; trapping by land-owners in rural areas and householders in urban areas seem to be the way to go.

 But some partnerships go a lot further;

“Cape to City” is a huge 26,000 hectare landscape-scale project aiming to get rid of all those pests in an area, roughly between Cape Kidnappers and the Cities of Napier, Hastings and Havelock North. (the Cape Sanctuary has two kiwi species, Tuatara, Takahe, rare skinks, kakariki and kaka, as well as katipo spiders, saddleback and tree weta)

Partners are Hawkes Bay Regional Council, DOC, Landcare research, Iwi, the National Science Challenge, Aotearoa Foundation and the land owners.

But the most important partners are the community around the footprint of the Cape to City Project and the schools, teachers and kids. (Education)

Now they’ve organised a really interesting Conference – we can all learn from what’s been achieved:

Transforming Biodiversity – Challenging the Boundaries 14 – 16 November 2017, Napier

ON AIR: Overnight Talk

12a.m. - 5a.m.