Pu­taruru eggs help to trap ro­dents

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO -

Free eggs pro­duced in Pu­taruru could be the key to keep­ing Sanc­tu­ary Moun­tain pest free.

The first batch of fresh hen eggs from Hey­den Farms of Litch­field, was de­liv­ered in April and Sanc­tu­ary Moun­tain’s pest team leader, James Matthews, hopes it is the start of long-term and much-needed spon­sor­ship.

The idea was hatched by cochair of Maun­gatau­tari Eco­log­i­cal Is­land Trust, Tony Wild­ing who ap­proached Hey­den Farms late last year.

Last month Hey­den Farms do­nated 18 trays of eggs, to Sanc­tu­ary Moun­tain for its net­work of traps.

Eggs are dearly prized by mustelids like the least weasel.

The eggs are com­mer­cial grade and Hey­den Farms of­fice man­ager Wendy Far­row said they’re usu­ally sold to bak­ers. ‘‘Com­mer­cial grade eggs some­times have cracks in their shells, but their in­ner mem­branes are in­tact.

‘‘Some­times they’ll have ex­tra cal­cium or mark­ings on their shells which make them unattrac­tive to peo­ple buy­ing for do­mes­tic use.’’

Sanc­tu­ary moun­tain’s nat­u­ral her­itage man­ager Matt Cook said the eggs will be placed in sin­gle-set Doc 200 and Doc 250 traps for a month.

Then, af­ter they’re cleared, traps are set for another month with Erayz # 8 mustelid blocks which con­tain dried rab­bit meat and bone.

Be­fore this gen­er­ous of­fer, the sanc­tu­ary was spend­ing at least $500 per an­num on eggs. The spon­sor­ship will en­sure weasels and other mustelids, like fer­rets and stoats, can be baited and trapped and killed, with­out be­com­ing bait-shy on only one va­ri­ety of bait.

Sanc­tu­ary Moun­tain’s pest team leader James Matthews knows the eggs do­nated by Hey­den Farms in Litch­field will go a long way to­wards keep­ing the moun­tain pest free.

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