A brazen pos­sum

Coastal News - - News -

The an­tics of a brazen pest pos­sum has been caught on cam­era by vol­un­teers of the Pauanui-tairua Cy­cle Trail.

There are 35 bait sta­tions and 35 traps in­stalled along the length of the trail, which is be­ing con­structed by vol­un­teers of the Hikuai District Trust with dona­tions from the pub­lic and help from the com­mu­nity.

The Trust was given dona­tions to in­stall a cam­era to help mon­i­tor its pest con­trol. Vol­un­teers Peter and Linda Millen watched the ac­tion on screen when a pos­sum was cap­tured at night, feast­ing on the bait. The cou­ple has put in hun­dreds of hours into keep­ing rat and pos­sum num­bers down to pro­tect en­dan­gered birds and en­hance na­tive bush along the trail. They re­cently dis­cov­ered a pos­sum had been liv­ing in the tree where the cam­era was mounted.

Records kept since Jan­uary 2017 to 23 Au­gust 2018 showed ap­prox­i­mately 219 pest an­i­mals have been caught by Good Na­ture traps, which kill in­stantly us­ing a gas cylin­der that self-reloads, and wooden ‘DOC 200’ traps and bait sta­tions po­si­tioned along the trail. Peter and Linda mon­i­tor the DOC 200 traps reg­u­larly and change out bait — which con­sists of fresh eggs sup­plied by the lo­cal Pauanui su­per­mar­ket.

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