On the Thames Coast, around 20 years ago, vigilant locals knew that the local kiwi population was on the verge of collapse. Thames Coast Kiwi Care was formed in 2006 with the mission: “To protect and enhance kiwi populations on the Thames Coast”.
We wanted to ‘hear kiwi calling from backyards again’. This dream has become reality as Te Mātā locals are reporting a significant increase in kiwi foot prints, calls and also sightings over the past few years.
We now have around 350 kiwi in our recovery area!
This is an incredible achievement by our community, with essentially ten times the 2006 kiwi population now present locally.
This map represents real-time mustelid trapping data from our project area, including the count of total predators removed. An outer hexagon represents trap density for the area, and the the inner hexagon represents catches. The more red the colour, the higher the density / catches.
Touch a hexagon for breakdown numbers per trap. AT220 trap data coming soon.
For the first time we are trapping possums and actively targeting rats as well as mustelids, thanks to a 4 year funding grant from the Waikato Regional Council. We are using AT220 self-setting rat and possum traps to support the existing trap lines and create a buffer zone to public conservation land. We started at Tapu and have trap lines at 2 locations moving north into the Te Mātā Forestry boundary. Whilst the project is still in its early phase, monthly monitoring has provided a promising picture. Data shows a significant catch rate, with 157 possums and 91 rats caught across 25 traps.
The next phase is to continue with trap placement, moving deeper into Te Mātā Forestry which is a possum hotspot. As funding allows, we will add more traps with another 50 expected to be added in July 2023. An important aspect of the project is to measure success not just by possum and rats killed, but by the positive impact on the wider biodiversity such as diverse returning bird species. Shortly, surveys will be undertaken to accurately monitor the number of bird species within our project area. We look forward to having everything from birds to bugs bouncing back as more pests are removed! This project has only been made possible by the Waikato Regional Council’s Natural Heritage Fund, the development of self setting traps and the support of NZ Autotraps.