The Kataike community, including Oākura and Ōkato, is embracing the Restore Kaitake project to make their patch safe for the return of treasured species such as kākā, yellow-crowned kākāriki and kiwi.
Find out how the community is embracing the project here: Restore Kaitake unites community of trappers
Restore Kaitake involves removing possums, stoats and rats from about 8,600 hectares, of private and conservation land including Oākura, the Kaitake Range and down to the coast.
Restore Kaitake is building on intensive predator control by Taranaki Regional Council, as part of Towards Predator-Free Taranaki; Taranaki Mounga Project, an ambitious conservation project covering Egmont National Park and the protected Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands; and successful trapping by residents and Kaitake Ranges Conservation Trust.
Kaitake’s Toby Shanley, Project Manager of Towards a Predator-Free Taranaki, says that together this work could lead to the return of kākā, yellow-crowned kākāriki and kiwi to the Kaitake Range. Longer-term, the Restore Kaitake work aims to restore seabird populations that once would have been abundant across Kaitake.
Read more about Toby here: Ecologist helps lead Towards Predator-Free Taranaki
“If we want to hear and see birds like kākā and Kiwi in the area again then residents need to get behind this. We need urban and rural residents to get trapping in their back yard to make it successful,” Mr Shanley says.
The latest technology and techniques will be used for Restore Kaitake work. This includes; motion sensor cameras on the Kaitake Range, to help understand predator behaviour; remotely monitored traps making predator control easier and more efficient; and a trapping website and app, Trap.NZ, where residents can can view predator control in their neighbourhood and record their catches.
For the first time in New Zealand, a zero possum trial will take palce to reduce possum numbers to zero density on farm, urban and conservation land, over about 4500 hectares of conservation and private land. We’ll also be aiming to reduce possums to extremely low levels over an adjacent 4000 hectares.
This is the first time a possum control operation of this scale and varying land use and habitat type has been carried out.
Approximately 2500 hectares of this work is in Egmont National Park (Block C on map) will be managed in conjunction with the Taranaki Mounga Project and the Department of Conservation.
Possum control in the remaining areas of the treatment area (blocks A, B and D, E & F on attached map) will be managed by the Taranaki Regional Council.