Cat scare on Mana Island
The Department of Conservation received a report of a potential cat sighting on Mana Island on February 19.
After the possible sighting, the department implemented an incident control plan.
It increased their survellience regime and deployed 14 motion detection cameras around the island, which supposed to be pest-free.
Footage from the cameras was reviewed daily.
The department also sent out a dog handler with his three certified cat-detecting dogs.
The dog handler visited the island twice occasions, once in February and again in March.
On each visit the handler and dogs spent three days combing the 217 hectare Scientific Reserve, searching for signs of a cat presence.
While no trace of a pest animal has been found, the department will continue surveillance on the island for several more months.
‘‘This highlights the importance of biosecurity procedures for visiting pest-free islands,’’ said Colin Giddy, The Department of Consevation’s Wellington biodiversity ranger.
‘‘The presence of a singlepest animal could create devastating effects for the native wildlife on the island, particularly given the amount of threatened and endangered species there.’’