Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Getting serious about predator control in Hamilton

There are two, with potentially three, programmes being developed to control rats and possums (stoats do not appear to be a problem in the city) in Hamilton gullies. In New Zealand there is very little experience in city pest control to the level that we are now aiming for; to clear all resident (breeding) rats from a designated control area, then to effectively manage the reinvasion. Possums are less of a problem to eradicate due to their slower breeding pattern and lower population.
It would be expected that over the next few years an effective programme will be developed that is safe, reliably effective and financially sustainable. This programme could then be rolled out through the extensive city gully system to protect our native fauna and to dovetail into the planting restoration that is going on in many areas.
Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council are already carrying out control programs on some areas of public land. What is really important is to get the support from those households that back onto the gullies where these initiatives are operating. It may be as little as arranging for a person to have access through your property or could be to have a trap or bait station installed in the gully behind your house and you to service and feed that information into a computer. Whatever programme we end up using we are going to rely on community support to make it effective and financially viable across the city.

The two programmes presently under way (in addition to Council programs) are:

Predator Free Hamilton Trust; running a trial in the Onukutara gully from Crosby Road to Wairere Drive/Hukanui Road intersection. They have conducted research to identify the range of the two main species of rat and possums to guide trap setting locations and will be using A24 Good Nature traps for rats and Timms traps for possums. For more information on this programme contact Kemble Pudney, ph 8525290 or email

Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust; are rolling out a bait station system they have been using in their restoration area for the last five years to the gully system inside Gordonton Road, Wairere Drive, Thomas Road and Hukanui Road. For more information on this programme contact Rod Ade 852-5256 or Rex Bushell 854-0973 / 021-237-3857

The third one that has applied for funding through Predator Free NZ and Kiwi Bank is Riverlea Environment Society who operate around the Hammond Park – Riverlea area. The community support can start right here by clicking on this link Riverlea Predator Control Funding and giving them your vote to support their funding application. Voting closes on the 25th November. Remember- your vote does count! Or contact Adrienne Grant

Rototuna Primary School active in Gully

Our neighbouring school in our gully is Rototuna Primary. They are doing their thing in restoring their part of the gully with the support of Enviroschools and Trees for Survival as well as using it as a school resource. Click on this link to see what they are up to. Another one of Rototuna Primary Schools projects was to make a number of Bat (Pekapeka) roosting boxes one of which was presented to our Trust to install in our gully.

Annual Tree sale

We took the opportunity to raise some funds again this year at the annual Tree Croppers Assoc. tree sale held at the Hamilton Gardens car park. Our site in the photo looks a bit sparse but we raised $352. Kowhai plants being so popular we had to get a delivery in to boost our stocks.

Restored an old seat

This seat located on the Upper West Track, was originally built by the son of the owners of the land above at the end of Sexton Road when he was young.
Unfortunately we did not get a photo of the old rotten seat before it was demolished. It seemed a shame to let it rot away so when we were offered a slab to go on the top we thought it was a good opportunity to restore it.