Motu Kaikoura Sanctuary Eco Management
The Motu Kaikoura Trust has been undertaking a manual rat control operation (baiting and trapping) on Motu Kaikoura (564 ha) since March 2014, with the objective of managing rat numbers on the island at or below 5% relative index level. Over the past year most bait-only stations have been replaced with ‘rat motels’ fitted with snap-traps. This has led to the reduction of persistently high rat numbers along the island’s difficult-to-access coastal zone. Satisfactory progress overall is reflected in the declining consumption of bait and in the number of rats trapped, (bait-take is presently below 1% and rats trapped 6%) across the island. These data are supported by the results of index monitoring in late November 2016 indicating 3.8% relative density. Simultaneous monitoring of a control line on nearby Great Barrier Island mainland indicated rat levels at 60%.
Motu Kaikoura Rat Management Program
This project is a manual 'control to zero relative density' rat eradication operation that employs local residents to significantly reduce rat numbers on the island. The project also includes goals of eliminating wilding pines and pampas. Motu Kaikoura and its surrounding islands are wonderful scenic spots as well as homes for many native species, the range and numbers of which will only increase in the absence of pests.
Please help these places recover by:
• Checking your boat (including your dinghy) prior to departure—look for signs of rodents: small black droppings, eaten food, dead bodies(!). We’d appreciate it if you could install a trap and maintain it.
• Not tying up or mooring at the Motu Kaikoura wharf. By all means drop people off but then anchor a safe distance away and row ashore.
• Not running shore lines on to Motu Kaikoura or any of the surrounding islands. One of the main ways rats get ashore is off boats and down mooring or shore lines.
• Leaving your pets at home or on the boat. Species such as sea and shore birds, brown teal and banded rail are very tempting morsels for dogs in particular.
• Taking care what you do when you are ashore. Please don’t light fires or camp on these islands and have a pack it in pack it out rubbish policy.
• Come ashore and enjoy Motu Kaikoura but respect that the smaller islands that surround it are private property.