PHOTO: Taranaki Regional Council
Long-term council commitment aims region-wide.
The first phase of the project will reduce possum numbers to zero density on farm, urban and conservation land, over 8,600 hectares.
Taranaki Regional Council will work with the community, iwi, hapu, landowners and Taranaki Mounga Project to eradicate possums from the Kaitake Range and adjacent farmland down to the coast, including Oakura township. The area will be defended from reinfestation by a ‘virtual barrier’ created by an intensive network of traps.
Landscape predator control will occur across 60,000 ha, based on a very low-power wireless sensor network. When a trap is activated by a possum, stoat, wild cat or other predator, the node sends a signal to a central hub, and this information is then sent via satellite or cell tower to cloud servers, then through a web portal to email or mobile. Initial trap checking will be by contractors, then landowners will check and maintain the trapping network on their property.
From the Waiwhakaiho catchment around New Plymouth, the programme will be rolled out in sections around the mountain, over 10 years, to eventually cover the province.
In urban areas householders are being encouraged to trap possums and rats.
|Launched||May 18, 2018|
|Total project investment||$47m|
|Funding commitment||Five years|
|Project lead||Taranaki Regional Council|
|Māori partners||Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Ruanui, Taranaki, Te Ātiawa, Ngaa Rauru, Ngāruahine, Ngāti Tama|
|Collaborators||Wild for Taranaki, Taranaki Mounga Project, New Plymouth District Council, Stratford District Council, South Taranaki District Council, Federated Farmers, Department of Conservation, Manaaki Whenua/ Landcare Research, Zero Invasive Predators.|
|Ambition||700,000 ha (after 10 years)|
|Design||Phased removal of possums and protection from protection from reinvasion. Intensive rural mustelid and cat control plus rodent in urban and key natural areas.|