trichosurus vulpecula

This is the final report describing the results from the second and third years of a three-year programme to determine the costs and benefits of aerial 1080 possum control operations to North Island robins (Petroica australis longipes) and moreporks (Ninox novaeseelandiae) in Pureora Forest Park, North Island, New Zealand. During this study robins were individually colour-banded, and moreporks radio-tagged in both treatment and non-treatment study areas. A poison operation using carrot baits in August 1997 covered 8577 ha and incorporated the 300 ha Waimanoa study area.

The role and nature of Tara taranaki are described. Its links to other species are considered; and the possible effects of possums on the species is discussed. It is likely that 1080 poison is highly toxic to amphipods, but no matter how poisonous it is to Tara taranaki, its use is likely to be far less damaging in the long term to this species than are the effects of an uncontrolled possum population.

The eradication of some introduced pests such as rats, stoats and possums in New Zealand seems increasingly feasible with successful action to date in various cities (e.g. Wellington City) and with the government’s national 2050 predator-free goal. Here we specifically detail the potential benefits of urban rat eradication and find these cover a wide range of topics including a potentially reduced risk of infection from at least seven zoonotic diseases (e.g. leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, trichinellosis, murine typhus; and three enteric diseases).

This report estimates the benefits of making Rakiura and surrounding islands predator free. The proposal is to do this in two phases, starting with the Halfmoon Bay area (denoted in this report as HMB) before progressing to the rest of the island (denoted in this report as full).