The Auckland region has ten species that are declared pests; mice, ship rats, Norway rats, weasels, stoats, ferrets, cats, possums, rabbits and hedgehogs. Although all target pests (except mice) have been removed from the Sanctuary there is a constant risk of re-invasion around the ends of the fence or through the fence due to the open public access.
The fence is therefore complemented by a system of trap-lines and tracking tunnels throughout the Park, all of which have to be checked regularly. This is one of the main activities of SOSSI members, along with routine checks of the fence itself.
You may see boxes like these throughout the park, but especially near the fence. The small ones contain a mouse trap, and the larger ones a Doc200 trap with an egg and a chunk of rabbit meat to attract rats and stoats. You might also see long, thin plastic boxes of black plastic – these contain ink-pads to record any little footprints.
Like to help?
You can help by checking for unwanted stowaways (cats, rats and mice) before visiting the park and by reporting any suspected pest sign.
If you’d like to join the volunteer team looking after trap lines and tracking tunnels or inspecting the fence you can find more information here.