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History of Omori Kuratau Pest Management Group

OMORI KURATAU PEST MANAGEMENT GROUP UPDATE
 
We have just completed 4 years of predator control in the Omori Kuratau area. Inspired by the Jean Stanley programme in Pukawa, we started out with 50 DOC 200 rat traps on the 21st August 2012. We now have 280 DOC 200 traps, 150 Dead Rat Cafes (for poison D4 Ratabate blocks), 67 Goodnature A12 gas-fired possum traps and 5 Goodnature A24 gas-fired rat/stoat traps making up our 12 trap lines covering the Omori/Kuratau area on the shores of south western Lake Taupo.  
 
Our band of dedicated volunteers who service the traps on a weekly basis, has also grown from 6 to 15 members. Our trapping programme has been made possible by generous grants from Waikato District Council, Taupo District Council, Huckleberry’s Charitable Trust, Monteith Construction Ltd, King Country Energy and two generous grants from the Omori Kuratau Ratepayers Association to purchase baits, lures and other consumables to continue and expand our programme. 
 
We have received permission to trap in the bush area from the Whio Whio Reserve car park to join up with an existing trap line on the Escarpment Walk at the top of the hill near Te Waka Tce.  This new trap line has been set up and is already catching predators. A recent grant from generous, supportive and anonymous local owners will allow us to add a further 10 DOC 200 and 5 possum traps to this new bush line during the next month. Our most prolific trap line runs along the Kuratau River walk and includes the Whio Whio Reserve. Our new line means we have this major bush area surrounded with traps.
 
Recently we have established a new trapline on the southern side of the Omori Stream of 12 DOC 200 traps, 6 A12 possum traps and 12 Dead Rat Cafes. 28 rats have been taken out in the first two months of establishment.
 
We are also investigating the setting up of another trap line in the extensive bush area at the top of the Omori hill on the Eco-retreat property. This will mean the entire Omori/Kuratau area is trapped.
 
The Omori/Kuratau community is totally supportive of the programme and the positive comments on the programme is wonderful to hear. Residents and regular visitors are noticing the large increase in bird life in the area – this is our reward and encourages us to continue with and expand our programme.
 
The following statistics will clearly show why the bird life is returning and increasing. Since the inception of the programme to 1 February 2016, we have taken out the following number of predators: 55 stoats/weasels, 152 feral cats, 156 possums, 332hedgehogs and an astounding 1202 rats. 
 
Any update would not be complete without again singing the praises of our dedicated band of 15 volunteer trappers. Their weekly checking, clearing and baiting of traps is the driving force behind the predator kills and the subsequent increase in our local bird life. Areas of bush that were totally silent 3 yerars ago are now alive with bird song. Another major benefit of the greatly increased bired numbers is the increased regeneration of native bush in the area as birds are the primary pollinators and seed dispersers.
 
 
Here's to the birds!
 
Russell Shaw 
OKPMG C0-ordinator