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Island Pests

The only pests not present on Waiheke are possums, deer, kiore & weasels
Ship Rata.k.a Black Rat

"A study on Great Barrier Island demonstrated that there were significantly more nikau, puriri and taraire seedlings in rat-trapped areas than in non-trapped areas of the same vegetation type. Although based on small sample sizes, it is well supported by other data and clearly implies that seed predation by rats is slowing the successional sequence from kanuka to broadleaf forest. Thus removing rats in these areas has a double whammy effect - it not only protects the seed pollinators and dispersers (birds), but it also ensures that dispersed seeds stand a chance of becoming trees."

Great Barrier Island Charitable Trust - Newsletter

Residents urged to wage war on rats - "Mike Lee believes rats were responsible for the failure of four past attempts to re-establish bellbirds on the island. And he says there is a danger of failure again if next month's translocated birds stray into rat-infested areas from their new island homes. He says ship rats, which arrived in the 1860s, are the biggest threat as they can climb trees where the birds nest. The rats, which are nocturnal, build their own nests in the trees and in lofts. There are more of them in the countryside than any other species, such as Norway or Kiore rats. They are distinguishable from other species because they have tails that are longer than the body. The real long-term solution, if you want to see large numbers of bellbirds on Waiheke, is to look to the day when the island will become rat-free."

- Waiheke Marketplace - 07/04/2011 -

"In New Zealand, ship rats have an unusual distribution and importance, in that they are utterly pervasive through native forests, scrublands, and urban parklands. This is typical only of oceanic islands that lack native mammals, especially other rodents. Ship rats are the most frequent predator of small forest birds, seeds, invertebrates, and perhaps lizards in New Zealand forests, and are key ecosystem changers. Controlling their abundance on usefully large areas of the New Zealand mainland is a crucial current challenge for conservation managers."

- Wikipedia -