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In this issue: Pest Pulse - Biosecurity in action around Northland.
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Pest Pulse – our first Northland Regional Council Biosecurity e-newsletter to keep you informed and up to date with what is happening in relation to Biosecurity and pest control throughout Northland.  This newsletter will help to keep you updated with news and events happening in the Biosecurity / Pest Control scene and allow us to keep in touch with our keen landowners and landcare groups undertaking pest control.
 
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The council’s biosecurity team supports landowners who strive to manage introduced plant, animal, freshwater and marine pests in Northland. Part of our work is to build awareness of the region’s pest problem, encourage people to get involved in pest control, and back their efforts with the right advice, information and support.

Introducing...

Pete Graham has recently joined the NRC Biosecurity Team. He’s been working with several Community Pest Control Area (CPCA) groups assisting with predator trapping, kiwi releases, handling and monitoring. Pete has over 20 years’ experience working with kiwi in Northland.
Pete is assisting with community-led pest control projects to upskill participants and help them monitor kiwi on private land.  The Tanekaha and Tutukaka CPCA groups have both recently used Pete’s unique skills to help them with kiwi translocations and monitoring.  Pete will continue to strengthen the council’s relationships with environmental groups and build on our leadership and support for this important community-led conservation work.
Marisa du Toit has recently joined our team as a Pest Plant Biosecurity Officer. She has been identifying and destroying some of the pest plant species the council wants to eradicate in the Whangārei area, including batwing passionflower, mickey mouse plant and spartina species. She has visited a number of sites where these plants have been identified this year. She has a background in teaching and her skills will be of huge benefit with our public education programme and weed workshops.
Richie Hughes recently joined us as a marine and aquatic biosecurity specialist who assists with the operational and administrative aspects of marine pest projects. With a background in marine ecology, he will work on implementing the council’s new Marine Pathway Management Plan. This important marine biosecurity project is designed to prevent marine pests from reaching new areas of Northland, rather than responding to a pest when it has arrived and had time to establish.
 
Kiwi Link CPCA
 
This Community Pest Control Area (CPCA) project has been named “Kiwi Link”,  which, as the names suggests, is primarily about linking and protecting kiwi populations between Whangarei Heads and Tutukaka. The project incorporates over eight different landcare groups, multiple agencies and landowners in the area between Parua Bay and Ngunguru and will become councils largest CPCA (13,000ha).  This CPCA’s primary objective is kiwi protection, focusing on landscape scale predator trapping, with a secondary objective of intensive possum control in areas of high biodiversity.

If you want to get involved with pest control in the area, let us know and we can put you in touch with one of the eight local landcare groups.
New pest control technology
 
New trap monitoring technology is being integrated into community pest control programmes in the Tangihua and Kiwi Link Community Pest Control Areas with the aim of reducing the time spent checking traps and baiting lines. Our staff have been trialing a network of the Encounter Solutions Ltd  celium sensors since 2015 with excellent results.The sensors, which are about the size of a small bedside clock, can be attached to a variety of traps and immediately notify the user when the trap has been set off.  They work well in undulating topography, through dense vegetation and in wet weather.

Photo credit: Celium
New predator baits

Whangarei based company The Possum Man now produces a specially made stoat bait perfect for use in predator traps.  Owners Toni and Grant (Monty) Montgomerie produce a solid, salted and frozen mince bait made from rabbits and hares.  We've had some great success with these baits over the summer catching several stoats.  They are a great and cheap alternative to other stoat baits which can be kept in the freezer.

The bait packs are $12 for 2 kilograms.
The Possum Man is located at 16 Reyburn Street, Whangarei Phone: 0276826186
Perch

Perch have been found in two locations during a summer survey of pest fish at a number of freshwater sites. The survey unfortunately discovered two locations where perch (Perca fluviatilis) were present – the first sites found in Northland since the early 1990’s. Perch are carnivorous and will cannibalise juvenile perch. They significantly alter native freshwater communities and completely dominate the waterway. Perch are also known to cause toxic algal blooms and degrade water quality. They lay long, sticky, strings of eggs that can survive out of water for a time. There is a serious risk that perch can be transferred between waterways through contaminated gear. Always check, clean and dry gear before moving to a new waterway, especially during the warmer months.
Moth Plant

Autumn is the time of year to get cracking on mothplant! Right now any plants that have been missed over summer, are getting ready to pop their pods and blow seed all over Northland. If you have mothplant in your garden, gather any seed pods on the vine and place them in a black rubbish bag. The pods can be left to rot down and then added to compost, or disposed of at your local landfill or transfer station. Moth plant is banned nationally from sale, propagation and distribution – always wear gloves when handling the vines as the sap can cause skin irritation.

FREE Weed Workshops

Free weed control workshops are an ideal way for people to increase their knowledge of pest plants and start getting rid of them from their properties. Around 200 people attend the training sessions each year and then put their new-found knowledge into practice. You’ll enjoy this workshop if you have ever wondered which weed is which and why weeds wander.

Be part of our efforts to protect Northland’s unique environment by waging a war against pest plants. The three-hour sessions are scheduled at:

 
Paparoa on July 24,
Kerikeri on July 25,
Coopers Beach on July 26 and
Whangārei on July 28 and 29
 
To register for your spot, contact Sara on 470 1162 or email sarab@nrc.govt.nz
Controlled Substance Licences training is now on offer to help you carry out more effective and efficient possum control using poison such as cyanide. Effective pest control has huge benefits to our properties and the wider environment – from healthier trees and more regeneration to an increase in pasture growth and profitability. If you’d like more information on costs and dates, please get in touch with our biosecurity team - 0800 002 004
‘Biosecurity Wednesday’ happens every week on the Northland Regional Council’s Facebook page where the biosecurity team posts updates on its work. We feature new discoveries and technology in the biosecurity industry and answer any questions you may have. Also tune in for ‘biosecurity month’ this July when we put the spotlight on nasties in Northland, get up close with critters and answer all your burning questions via our Facebook live Q&A sessions. We hope you’ll give us a ‘like’ as you keep up to date with the latest Biosecurity in Northland: Follow us on Facebook
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