Cat scare on Mana Is­land

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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.’’

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