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A predator-free Miramar peninsula;- and surrounds!

August 11, 2019

There is no doubt that local residents have generally embraced the vision of a predator-free Miramar peninsula, part of a wider plan to make Wellington the world’s first predator-free capital city. A predator-free city means a safe place for our native birds, skinks and geckos and other creatures to thrive. The Miramar peninsula offers a very real opportunity to permanently eradicate predators, as it is largely isolated by the airport and surrounded by sea., and possums have  been successfully eradicated for some years there  already.  Now it is time to be free of other predators such as rats stoats and weasels.

The ambitious goal is to be rid of these animals by the end of 2019. To get the numbers down to zero, bait stations need to be placed on a 50×50 m grid and traps on a 100mx100m grid across the entire peninsula on both public and private land. Several hundred stations and traps have already been laid, but there is always the chance that the Predator Free Wellington team would like more in your area. If you would like further information on this, or just to find out more about the programme, you can email hello@pfw.org.nz or phone 0800norats.

Of course its not just about the Miramar peninsula;- the surrounding areas  are important as well. For example, those of you going past the new cycleway and walkway under construction on Cobham Drive will have noticed the area has a high concentration of traps to stop new pest animals entering the peninsula this way.

Although I live in Strathmore Park (and yes have a trap!), I’ve been quite closely involved with the Lyall Bay predator-free group, which aims to make Lyall Bay predator-free as well. We met recently for a working bee to build trap boxes (see photos)- the actual spring traps go inside these. A mesh “gate” with a rat-sized hole means children, cats and other pets wont be able to set the trap off accidentally.

Although some people might object to trapping, once we get to the end of the year the job will hopefully be done and we will all be able to enjoy the resurgence in our native wildlife.

Oh… and by the way.. apparently the best baits are peanut butter, nutella, oats and raisins!

Thanks to Cam who is the co-ordinator for the Lyall Bay group, and to the wonderful team of volunteers (you know who you are), and to local organisations who have donated wood and other materials.

By the way, don’t feel left out if you live in other parts of Wellington:- there are  also predator free projects in Crofton Downs, Otari, South Makara, Tawa, Broadmeadows, Brooklyn, Churton Park, Glenside, Grenada Village, Houghton Valley, Island Bay, Johnsonville, Karori, Khandallah, Kilbirnie, Mt Cook/Newtown/Berhampore, Mt Victoria, Newlands/Paparangi/Woodridge, Ngaio, Northland, Seatoun, Thorndon, Wadestown and Aro Valley. Lots of great work being done all over the city.

Happy to have your feedback.

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