Puketōtara Landcare Group : Environmental action in pest management
This landcare group’s dedication to pest control is bringing wondrous results for fauna and flora in the Community Pest Control Area between Kerikeri and Puketi Forest in the Bay of Islands.
Puketotara Landcare was initiated by a small but determined core group of six members just six years ago when the plight of the local kiwi became apparent. Dogs, habitat loss, stoats, possums and feral cats were threatening kiwi breeding success in the remnant bush areas of Puketotara River.
Taking an integrated management approach, local trappers have gone on to record a huge number of pest kills. More than 4,500 possums and around 2,550 rats are among the feral cats and pigs, ferrets, stoats, weasels, mice, rabbits and hedgehogs caught, and more than 1000 mynahs have been trapped.
It was this approach which saw the group win the Environmental action in pest management award at the Northland Regional Council’s 2019 Environmental Awards.
Now native seedlings are regenerating, rata is flowering, desirable bird life is flourishing, and more juvenile kiwis are being spotted. Kiwi call numbers are rising, from 10 calls to more than 14 per hour, and weka are returning to the area.
This inspirational group is actively helping others get involved. Landowners in the immediate area are joining in, either by servicing traps and bait stations or paying for a professional trapper to come in to their area.
Puketotara Landcare is working alongside them, providing or maintaining traps and offering education and support as part of their work to extend the Kiwi corridor to Puketi Forest.