Skip to main content Skip to footer

Celebrating the Bay of Plenty's pest animal control efforts through technology

May 2023

A collective effort to develop an online mapping system shows the extent voluntary and community groups in the Western Bay of Plenty are going to in helping make the region predator free.

More than 30,500 pests have been recorded as being caught across the 160,800 hectares that have traps and bait stations, providing GPS data to map and measure success.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been working alongside Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Predator Free Bay of Plenty, Enviro Hub, Bay Conservation Alliance, Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust, and Department of Conservation to get to the Government goal of making New Zealand predator free by 2050.

The Predator Free 2050 vision is focused on the complete removal of the five most damaging predators: Rats, Stoats, Ferrets, Weasels, and Possums.

Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust Chief Executive Louise Saunders says it has been a longstanding mission of the community to restore the Mauri of the Kaimai Mamaku area.

She says with the power of technology it is now possible to measure pest control progress in real time.

“This map is inspirational and demonstrates how committed the Western Bay of Plenty community is to restoring biodiversity. Monitoring is crucial to ensuring our actions are contributing positively to the mission, and now we can see exactly where the gaps are and work together to fill them” Ms. Saunders says.

Predator Free Bay of Plenty set a goal in 2018 to get a backyard trap into one in five houses in suburban Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty.

Chief Executive Laura Wragg says they have achieved the one in five goal in some suburbs already and we are on track to get 12,000 traps.

“Everyone has a role to play in the battle to save our birds and it can be as simple as keeping a free rat trap set in your backyard, or volunteering for a local group trapping in a reserve.  Pests have consumed both the forest floor and the canopy. By implementing pest animal control across our rohe in forest, rural and urban areas we will help protect, preserve, and enhance our biodiversity and allow the native flora and fauna to thrive,” Ms Wragg says.

Regional Council Land Management Officer Anna Dawson says the mapping system shows the importance and value of the region’s community and volunteer groups. The care groups and volunteer contributions are invaluable and should continue to be recognised and celebrated for the extensive mahi they undertake contributing to positive environmental outcomes.

“The mapping will allow for the future planning for expansion of pest animal control and volunteering,” Ms. Dawson says.

She says data showing the number of pests killed is reliant on it being entered by the volunteers.

Pest numbers: 30,500 caught. Over 17,000 rats, 3,800 possums. The rest are comprised of stoats, ferrets, weasels, feral cats, hedgehogs, and mice.

- ENDS -