Predators - possums, rats, mice, hedgehogs, stoats, and ferrets
The number of pests in the valley is a challenge. Everything from rats, mice, stoats, ferrets and possums as well as hedgehogs - with rats being the main problem. The stream provides a runway for rats to move right in from the Green Island refuse dump. Most valley property owners will tell you the rats are prolific and will take over any building in the valley, given half a chance.
What makes an animal a pest species?
Pest species are introduced animals (or plants or insects) that cause significant damage to our native New Zealand ecosystems. Many of these species cause no problems in their own environment, but in New Zealand they may have no natural predators, a different food supply, and different climate conditions, causing their behaviours to become an issue here.
Rats, mice, stoats, ferrets and hedgehogs are all known to eat eggs and baby birds in New Zealand, while possums are devastating to our native trees.
Why use traps for pests?
For much of Kaikorai Valley, trapping is a better way of dealing with pests than poison. When you use a trap you don't have to worry about secondary poisoning of the stream, or whether your cat will get sick after eating a poisoned rodent. Modern traps are targetted, reliable, and safe for non-target species. Some of them, like the Goodnature traps, even automatically re-set themselves once sprung, so you don't have to check them quite so often.