Rakiura 34

Stewart Bull's reflections on Taukihepa / Big South Cape

Kia ora kotou katoa, as part of the Predator Free Rakiura group I am one of the representatives of the Rakiura Tītī island community which has a membership of 16,000 people.

Stewart Bull is a founding member of the Predator Free Rakiura group representing the Rakiura Tītī Committee 

I have seen the benefits of predator eradication first hand on Taukihepa (Big South Cape), located south-west of Rakiura.

About 10 years ago the Rakiura Tītī island community, in conjunction with the Department of Conservation, used helicopters to distribute brodifacoum all over the island, as well as manual distribution in caves and under houses, etc.

It is with pleasure that I can state this was a successful exercise. Although some of the birds such as weka took a bit of a hit, they have recovered to such as state as to become a nuisance! The recovery of the tui, bellbird, robin, parakeet, morepork, etc., has steadily increased as each year passes.

The insects and plant life have also had a noticeable recovery. The weta had all but disappeared, but now on a still night it sounds like rain on the leaf litter as the weta ping about. 

I just wanted to share these thoughts as it is a prime example of the positive outcomes that can be achieved by removing pest species.

If we apply cost and benefit analysis then benefit definitely wins. Therefore, imagine the outcomes that we will see as a consequence of ridding Rakiura (Stewart Island) of predators that are predating our bird life. I have no doubt it will be similar to what we are seeing on the Tītī Islands.

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