Covering approximately 300ha of coastal forest situated amongst a broader dune ecosystem, the Mason Bay rat trapping project is a collaboration between two of our project partners: the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association – Southland Branch and the Department of Conservation – Rakiura.
This Mason Bay project is a great example of the mahi already happening on Rakiura, which in turn supports our overall vision of a predator free Rakiura.
Mason Bay represents some of the only intact temperate dune system in the southern hemisphere, stretching inland up to three kilometres and reaching over 200m in height. It is home to a range of locally endemic plants and animals, including many threatened species.
The location is a key wintering site for the critically endangered Southern New Zealand Dotterel which rest here during the high tides before flying across to places like the Freshwater River mouth mudflats to feed during the low tides.
It is home to one of the largest and most visible populations of kiwi in New Zealand as well as a range of forest bird species such as red-crowned parakeet, kereru, kaka, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail and more.
NZDA members maintain and rebait a network of 309 victor rat traps every year (see map). Trapping trips are targeted to spring and summer and generally range from August to December.
Read the 2021 report.