Poisoning plan — Operational Solutions for Primary Industries explains
Issued by chief executive, Michelle Edge
Kāpiti [Island] is a predator-free sanctuary where birds can survive and breed untroubled by introduced possums, rats and stoats.
Their sustaining habitat of native bush offers food, safe nesting and shelter, undamaged by pests.
That balanced biodiversity is still a dream on the mainland, but in the first months of 2018, it will come significantly closer after a TBfree aerial 1080 possum control operation knocks down possums and rats across a large chunk of TB vector risk area – 11,000 hectares of bush and forest along the foothills of the Tararua Ranges, between the Akatarawa Road in the south and the Otaki River in the north.
The project area is just north of the settlement of Reikorangi, and some of the area for treatment is within view of Waikanae and the Kapiti Expressway.
The operation, designed in consultation with local communities and landowners, aims to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) into the neighbouring farms and lifestyle blocks around Reikorangi, and reduce the risk of TB infection being maintained by possums. Native flora and fauna, including the birds that come and go from Kapiti, will benefit from the possum control operation.
The rugged nature of the terrain and in the inaccessibility of the block makes aerial control the preferred method for this operation, although ground-based methods of possum control using traps and poisons will be used on flatter land near areas of population and recreational parks.
Tracks and signage
The area does include popular walking and tramping trails such as the Mangaone Walkway, Kapakapanui Track and Hut, Waiotauru and Parata tracks.
Signage at all public access points to tracks and huts would be installed to alert hunters, hikers, mountain bikers and people with dogs.
Free dog muzzles would be available.
The exact date for the poisoning in February is still to be decided.