Individual study: Efficacy of a community-led rat control programme at Lake Taupo, New Zealand
King C. & Scurr D. (2013) Efficacy of a community-led rat control programme at Lake Taupo, New Zealand. Conservation Evidence, 10, 85-88
A long-running pest management programme was tested to determine to what extent rats were removed from a 50 ha managed area on the shore of Lake Taupo, North Island, New Zealand. It was confirmed that the trapping protocol employed was effective in catching rats by setting a new trap line in a non-managed area where rats were undisturbed; 64 rats were caught over 10 days. Damage to fake nests, a reliable indicator of the presence of rats, peaked after eight days when 31 of 40 nests were destroyed in one night. The same protocol was then applied in the managed area in comparable forest. Here no rats were caught, and fake nests remained untouched. It was also confirmed that the lack of captures in the managed area was due to effective pest control, rather than to widespread trap avoidance, by using three other methods of monitoring rat presence. It was concluded that the community-led programme was effective in removing rats from the managed area during the nesting season.