2022 Trapping results
Trapping results continue to be good with the number of pests caught similar to previous years. This is as expected as new animals move in all the time and all other things being equal, the reinvasion rate into the trapped area would be approximately constant, although they do vary up and down. Between October 2003 and December 2022 Puketi Forest Trust has removed 98,759 pests from Puketi – an average of slightly less than 5000 per year. Based on the data to hand, we have probably already collected our 100,000th pest animal from Puketi sometime during late February or early March 2023 – certainly a milestone! This total includes nearly 60,000 rats and 30,000 possums. Interestingly there have only ever been 3 ferrets. Ferrets are not known to be common in Northland and are more typical in farmland than forest. Our results certainly support those observations, with all three ferrets being caught in traps along the forest edge.
There are now 318 traps on the Jobs for Nature lines (S11 – S20) and the first of these was activated in August 2022. They are now being serviced regularly along with the pre-existing lines. As expected, the capture rates on these new lines are higher than on the pre-existing lines and this high capture rate will probably continue for some time as local populations are reduced and we revert to just catching new invaders.