Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group - June Update

Volunteers resetting a trap at the magic gum tree possum hotspot.jpg

Volunteers resetting a trap at the magic gum tree possum hotspot.jpg

Residents living at the gateway to the Peninsula (Andersons Bay/Waverley/Shiel Hill) have been trapping possums for just over a year now and already are seeing an increase in the number of fantails and tui visiting their back gardens. One Andersons Bay resident of ten years has had fantails nesting in her garden for the first time ever. Another resident has finally got roses blooming after twenty years of possums eating the lot! Anecdotal evidence such as this is being reported in many sectors over the Peninsula.

On the operational side we’re getting into mop-up mode for sectors 1 and 2. The operations team is getting very good results with 3 feeds of ‘Prefeed Plus’ in bait stations prior to cholecalciferol pellets. Addition of silica (‘Kitty litter’) is keeping bait dry and fresh. Bait stations containing prefeed are looking like they may be a much better detection tool than chew cards, and more likely to keep possums in the area being fed. Sandymount track clearing is still centred on the most dense areas, but going well with the good weather. Two of our volunteers are adding prefeed to the stations as they are located in the undergrowth. Possums are clearly using the new tracks and taking up the prefeed.

Harriet Dale with Bayfield Kindergarten Trapinator

Harriet Dale with Bayfield Kindergarten Trapinator

With over 17,900 possums removed from the Peninsula so far, we need to work harder than ever to flush out the remaining possums. We would love to hear from anyone wanting to lend a hand by checking trap lines, monitoring possums by checking chew cards, or even just going for a stroll around Sandymount to keep our trapping lines open. Please email volunteers@opbg.nz or call 021 0237 5970 to be added to our pool of volunteers. Every little bit helps.

Track cutting on Sandymount

Track cutting on Sandymount

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