One of the conditions of Mudlarks Mangrove removal programme is for the community volunteers to undertake pest control. Beginning in December 2016, the group manage both sides of the Waiuku Estuary to control rats and stoats. The objective is to reduce predators and to provide a safer resting and nesting zone along the coast line reed beds for wading birds.
With the completion of mangrove removal from the majority of the Rangiwhea Estuary, the pest control programme was recently expanded in September. Pest control stations were installed from Sandspit Reserve to McCall Drive, on the Western side and all along Millbrook on the Eastern side. All the stations and bait used are Auckland Council approved for use in community parks and reserves. All stations are also ‘tamperproof’ and are designed to be inaccessible to children, cats and dogs, etc.
It is therefore extremely sad to have to report that three lockable rat bait stations and one DOC 200 trap station went ‘missing’ from the Rangiwhea Road area over the last two months.
It seems somebody has an issue with the pest control, but rather than ask questions or seek answers, they see fit to remove, destroy, borrow, steal community owned and volunteer operated equipment. As a comparison, in one whole year, only one rat bait station went missing along the reserves of the Waiuku Estuary.
To the person(s) concerned, if you have issues, please contact Kara Goddard, local parks Community Ranger and discuss your concerns. If you wish to return the missing items, then please have somebody contact or drop off at the Waiuku Information Centre, no questions asked.
Why do the volunteers continue to help when this sort of disappointing behaviour exists in the community? It’s simple; because pest control is the right thing to do for improving habitat for birds, but also because it removes rats from your houses, sheds and gardens where you live and your children/grandchildren play.
Is it working? Yes. Our evidence is both bait consumption, and just last week a ‘average sized’ rat was trapped in the Elsie Drive area. Ten days ago a ‘large’ rat was also trapped in McCall Drive area. And by large, it was 460mm long from nose to end of tail.
Barry Gibbon, Waiuku Mudlarks