Work is now well underway on New Zealand’s newest sanctuary in the Sinbad Valley. The Department of Conservation have been contracted to undertake the formation of the trap lines, to check the traps, and to continue monitoring the various species in the area.
On 21 December 2009, all the traps were laid out on the seven kilometres of new trap line by DOC staff and volunteers from Southern Discoveries Milford based staff. Each box was baited with meat and an egg, but the traps were not set. This was to get the pests used to the boxes. These were checked on 27 January 2010 and all bait had been removed from every box. The boxes then were rebaited and set.
Hannah Edmonds from DOC and her team, including two Southern Discoveries staff headed into the valley last week (3-4 Feb) to survey for skinks in the head of the Sinbad.
The results were:
Sinbad skinks – caught two and saw four more
Mahogany skink – caught six
Cascade Gecko – caught six.
This week the traps have been checked for the first time with 12 stoats caught and 1 rat!
“It is fantastic to have this project underway, and to have 12 less stoats in that valley will make a significant difference. We look forward to the monthly checks to see how quickly we can get the numbers of pests down, and to see through our monitoring the resulting impact on our threatened species” - Rachel Cockburn, Trust Manager.