The 14.4 km pest-proof fence is a first step to remove all introduced mammalian pests from within the 691 hectare fenced area. The fence is under construction and scheduled to be completed in September.
Since trapping began in 2007, we have physically removed around 30,000 pests from the Sanctuary site by trapping and hunting.
Pest eradication programme
In winter 2017, the Sanctuary will close for a period of a few months while pests are removed from inside the fenced area.
We have resource consent to conduct three aerial drops of brodifacoum, a toxin manufactured for eradicating mammalian pests, as part of our long-term plan to create a pest-free habitat in Nelson that will allow native flora and fauna to thrive without threat.
Consent was approved for the drops to take place at a time between 1 June 2016 and 30 September 2017 and our plan is to begin the pest eradication programme in early winter 2017.
Best practice states that aerial operations should be conducted between May and October because winter is the time when food is scarce and the bait is most attractive to target pests.
In preparation, we are reformulating our plans. This could include doing some more trapping for pests such as possums, which eat more bait than others and take away bait from the smaller rodents that are the target. We could also do a bigger programme of culling larger predators pests such as like deer, goats, and pigs through hunting. Watch this space.
The Visitor’s Centre will continue to be open most days until we close in winter 2017, so the public is welcome to visit often!