Waiheke rats could infest Rotoroa
A takahē release on Rotoroa Island was deferred because of a rat infestation from Waiheke or Ponui Islands.
Rotoroa Island Trust communications manager Karyn Clare says DNA testing showed a rat had probably arrived on Rotoroa last month from Waiheke or Ponui.
One dead rat was found on Rotoroa in April and tunnels showed tracks from another rat, which was quickly poisoned, says Auckland Zoo field conservation manager Ian Fraser.
The rat incursion on pest-free Rotoroa set back plans to release two critically endangered takahē, which were bred by the Department of Conservation in Te Anau.
Ms Clare says rats can swim up to 2.5 kilometres, so Waiheke pests pose a risk to Rotoroa’s bird and wildlife restoration.
“If everyone on Waiheke put down one bait station, what a massive difference that would make,” she says.
Waiheke conservation volunteer and contractor Hue Ross has also raised concerns about Waiheke pests colonising neighbouring pest-free islands.
“We’re getting to the stage where Waiheke is becoming a liability to these islands.
“Stoats and rats are quite capable of swimming from the eastern coastline of Waiheke to Rotoroa.
“Stoats are very adept swimmers and very enthusiastic colonisers,” he says.
Tale of two donkeys has happy ending
A tale of two donkeys with nowhere to live has had a happy ending, thanks to a farm animal sanctuary near Wellsford.
Male donkeys Bilbo and Pipo were living on Waiheke with an owner who had struggled to take care of them, says Waiheke SPCA manager Michell Sanders.
Spate of domestic violence causes concern
April was a black month for domestic violence on Waiheke.
The island’s Living Without Violence service received 15 police notifications about domestic violence incidents last month, three times as many as most months, says agency manager Merran Lawler and programmes and promotions coordinator Lisa Smith.
Serious violence was involved in some of the incidents, but the reasons for the sudden spate remain elusive.
Selling the Garden of Eden to the highest bidder
Greenpeace International co-founder Susi Newborn takes a clear-sighted look at the biggest issue the planet has ever faced, and what New Zealand needs to do about it.
Do your eyes glaze over when you hear the words ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’? Don’t worry, it is actually extremely common and has more to do with how our brains are hard-wired than failure to understand something where the risks approach existential peaks unseen in historical human experience.
Human beings are saddled with a ‘loss aversion’ shortcoming, which means that we are more afraid of losing what we want in the short-term than surmounting obstacles in the distance.