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Pēhea ai mātou e tiaki i te pae maunga o Hunua i ngā kīrearea

How we protect the Hunua Ranges from pests

Possums and rats threaten native animal and plant species in the Hunua Ranges.

2018 pest control operation

Between September and October 2018 we aerially applied 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) to around 21,500ha of parkland, adjoining Department of Conservation (DoC) administered land and some private land in the Hunua Ranges area. This followed the first such operation in 2015.

All parkland in the Hunua Ranges has reopened (including Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks), following the aerial pest control programme.

A caution period was in place for six months following the operation to prevent a risk to people or pets from any remaining bait or pest animals that died from consuming the bait.

We carried out a full water testing programme following the operation. 1080 was not detected in any of the more than 100 samples.

Results of aerial application of 1080

Following the 2018 operation, pest animals in the ranges are at an all-time low, with rat and possum densities significantly reduced across the area.

When planning for the operation began, estimations of rat coverage across the ranges was at 75 per cent and possum numbers had begun to increase again following the 2015 operation.

Post-operational monitoring has indicated the application was very successful. Pest species have dropped dramatically, with estimated possum coverage across the ranges at 0.23 per cent and zero per cent for rats.

Species monitoring is also a strong indicator of success. Following the 2018 pest control operation, the highest number of mature chicks since the kōkako protection project began was recorded from monitored pairs.

Visitor information

Observe all information and warning signs.

Ground-based pest control is currently in place on areas of parkland and some surrounding private land that wasn’t treated during the aerial operation. All visitors must continue to take note of any warning signs.

Always keep your dogs on a leash. This is a requirement within the park at all times.

A Controlled Area Notice is in place across the native forest area of the Hunua Ranges Regional Park and adjoining DoC-administered lands. This is to protect against kauri dieback disease.

Use hygiene stations to clean and disinfect all footwear and equipment to ensure you do not carry any visible soil into the controlled area.

More information

In 2011 the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released an independent report endorsing 1080 use.

Download the report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment website.

DoC also looks after large areas of parkland and uses 1080 application to manage animal pests.

For more on the use of 1080, see the DoC website.

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