Bringing back native birdsong
Predator-Free Waihi Beach has branched out to include the Bowentown area in its mission
The sound of the tu¯¯ı will return to Bowentown in six weeks, say Predator-Free Bowentown volunteers. Last week the largest piece of coordinated predator-free work was rolled out — Predator-Free Bowentown is now under way.
Trapping volunteers and monitors worked in muddy conditions around the Anzac Bay area, which they said was “notably native bird free”.
“This will change within six weeks of trapping,” a local volunteer says. “Watch this space, volunteers have set up a virtual trap fence at Albacore Aven to stop predator incursion into Bowentown. After six weeks of trapping the song of the tu¯¯ı can now be heard with over 20 birds counted in the area where we have been eradicating predators. We have been working closely with the trapping teams who also run trap lines down the cycle track.”
The trapping is a collaboration and more than 150 traps and monitoring tunnels have been laid.
A Predator Free Waih¯ı Beach spokesperson says the area has seen super rats being caught, “28cm in length (not including the tail) and weighing in at nearly half a kilo – how can native birds survive attacks like that!
“These rats can easily climb trees and destroy nests but are also extremely good ground hunters. The fight will go on!
“We would love Bowentown residents to join in and have a rat or possum trap in their backyard. It will
We would love Bowentown residents to join in and have a rat or possum trap in their backyard. It will make a huge difference to our project as this is where the predators will be hiding out.
make a huge difference to our project as this is where the predators will be hiding out.”
Waih¯ı Beach Environment Society has been trapping since early 2016.
They have saved over 75,000 native birds.
“It sounds a lot but unfortunately, it is only the tip of the iceberg, the trappers have a constant battle on their hands to save our precious native species. The statistics are terrifying with around 26.4 million NZ native birds, eggs and chicks being eaten alive by introduced predators every year, equating to 72,000 every day.”