Kiwi project - Pest monitoring protocol
Purpose 1: To determine the animal pests which are present.
Purpose 2: To present data about our pest management activities.
Purpose 3: To support the proposed translocation of NI robin to Russell in March 2007.
Method: Combination of tracking tunnels, traps and wax tag monitoring.
Pest monitoring lines: 500 metres long, unbiased compass line, N/S where possible.
Note that other species present can include ant, weta, dog, gecko, and others.
Table 1: Structure and targeting of pest monitoring lines
|Rat||Ink card in tracking tunnel||24 hours||Peanut butter||10||50m|
|Stoat/weasel||Ink card in tracking tunnel||3 days||Fresh rabbit||5||100m|
|Cat||SA cat trap||7 days||Fresh meat/fish||3||150m|
|Possum/rat/mice||Wax tab||7 days||Glow bug||20||10m|
Timing - Activation of pest monitoring lines
Pest monitoring occupies an eight day cycle, typically beginning and ending on a Monday as shown in Table 2 below.
Timing - Frequency of activation of pest monitoring lines
- Pest monitoring lines are activated on the above schedules (Tables 1 & 2) once per month for three months.
- The first two cycles are to develop a good picture of the pests present, the scale of the pest levels, and to determine pest management action to lower their presence.
- The third cycle is to determine if the adjustment in pest management techniques has worked or otherwise.
- Further monitoring may be required at this point to fine-tune the pest management system.
- Once a stable situation is demonstrated to exist, test monitoring lines are then activated on a seasonal basis, i.e. three monthly throughout the year.
Table 2: Eight day cycle for pest monitoring
|Monday||Activate the line||10 ink cards for rats||20 numbered wax tags for possums||Set 3 SA traps for cats|
|Tuesday|| ||Collect 10 rat cards, install 5 stoat cards||Check/re-set SAs|
|Wednesday || || || ||Check/re-set SAs|
|Thursday || || || ||Check/re-set SAs|
|Friday || ||Collect stoat cards|| ||Check/re-set SAs|
|Saturday|| || || ||Check/re-set SAs|
|Sunday|| || || ||Check/re-set SAs|
|Monday||De-activate the line||Leave tunnels in position||Collect 20 wax tabs||Check, then remove or de-activate SAs|
Analysis of the pest monitoring
Please inspect the monitoring cards that we use (purchased from Connovation Ltd).
Other indicators of pest levels negatives:
- Dead wildlife (birds, skinks, etc)
- Scratchings on trees (totara are favoured by possum for example)
- Lack of flowering and fruiting by native and exotic plants
- Foliage eaten, and plants/trees dead for no obvious reason
- Wandering dogs and cats
Indicators of good pest control:
- Presence of birds
- Absence of predator sightings
- Ability of orchards to produce fruit
- Able to grow roses
- New plants survive
- Dope growing is possible without netting or poisons
A short guide
It's quite easy to learn to identify animal prints. Read our notes then study your prints.
Rats have 4 toes on the front feet and five on the back. They have lumps on the underside of their feet that leave clear marks.
Mice show as very small dots. Their prints are very similar in layout to those of rats.
Lizards tracks are quite distinctive. Attrcat them through the Trakka using 50:50 banana and honey.
Mustelids if you draw a line between toes 1 and 4 the foot pad will be outside this line.
Hedgehogs both feet are similiar to the human hand with 5 digits only with a centre pad on both feet. The central pad is closer to the toes than that of a rat.