Clarification re Motukawao Islands article
However, there are a few aspects we’d like to clarify, so that readers are fully informed. The Motukawao Islands are administered by the Nga Motu Aroha Trust on behalf of the 461 beneficiaries, who are descendants of the 14 original owners representing Ngati Hako, Ngati Tamatera, Ngati Marutuahu and Ngati Patukirikiri. The islands have had a high number of rats (we caught 17 in one night in one trap alone, toward the start of trapping). There are no other rodents on the islands. The rats are being controlled by 5 AT220 battery powered traps and 120 bait stations. Contrary to the article, there have been no dogs taken onto the islands for tracking work. Department of Conservation continue to be supportive of our island restoration work and have assisted us with navigating the ‘red tape’. The project is compliant with all requirements for trapping and bait station use. An ecologist Patrick Stewart from Sound Counts has provided support to the project which includes species monitoring of birds and plants. Patrick Stewart has also led a team of eleven (many more than two) second year botany students from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Tauranga to help with this work.
We’re really encouraged by the interest in this important project, so please let me know if you have further questions about the work we are doing.