Wellington intends to be the first predator free capital city in the world and it is off to a good start. Capital Kiwi is a complementary project with a vision to return kiwi to the capital.
Wellington has over 20 years of ongoing predator control in reserves and rural landscapes. Zealandia sanctuary has created a safe haven for native species to breed and the birds are extending across the city. There are also long standing community groups undertaking predator control and a groundswell of backyard trapping.
Predator Free Wellington
This is a ten year project aimed at making the whole of Wellington city rat, possum and mustelid free. The first stage of the Predator Free Wellington project is making Miramar Peninsula predator free. It will then move into neighbouring suburbs, the CBD and east, and north to the boundary with Porirua.
Miramar is a peninsula close to the CBD made up primarily with suburban properties. The peninsula is already possum free (thanks to earlier work from Greater Wellington Regional Council) and the first stage of the Predator Free Wellington project aims to remove rats and mustelids too.
In Miramar over 6,000 traps and bait stations have been laid on over 3,000 properties. The impacts are already being seen with an increased reports of tui, ruru, kererū and geckos.
A virtual predator barrier is being constructed near the airport to stop these predators coming back on to the Peninsula. The barrier will be made up of:
- an 80cm high fence along the existing Wellington International Airport fence,
- six barrier lines made up of a combination of traps and bait stations placed every 50m
- Four lines of traps (two each side) along the coastlines
- A line of non-toxic automatic lure dispensers (with mayonnaise) to show if anything is attempting to cross the barrier.
Capital Kiwi is a separate but complementary project to Predator Free Wellington. It’s an ambitious plan to bring kiwi back to the capital.
It encompasses the southwestern corner of the North Island from Porirua southwards including the steep, scrubby hillsides of Te Kopahou and Makara Peak, big blocks like the Terawhiti and Kinnoull stations, and the Meridian wind farms. The project area is 23,000ha in total. The project involves farmers, businesses, landowners, schools and communities.
Capital Kiwi has placed nearly 4,400 stoat traps consisting a mix of Goodnature A24 traps and DOC 250 traps for ferrets. Trail cameras are being trialed to help prove eradication. When extensive monitoring over three years demonstrates predators have been removed, Capital Kiwi will work with iwi and the Department of Conservation’s Kiwi Recovery Group to reintroduce kiwi into Wellington.
Read more predator free stories in Wellington:
- MIRO helps out overlooked banded dotterels
- Wildlife artist, Hannah Shand, captures the personality of native birds
- New clues in the search for synthetic lures
- Traplordz aim to get students trapping
- Everyday life goes ‘wild’ in Newtown