Crossland, A. (2020). Charlesworth Reserve: Predator control summary Jan 2018 – Jan 2020.

In November 2003 a trapping programme consisting of 5 Department of Conservation (DOC) double trap boxes was instigated by Scott Butcher. Targeting mustelids, hedgehogs, and rats, by 2018 this programme had expanded to 64 traps, checked 10-12 times per annum. Dried rabbit, peanut butter, and chicken eggs were predominantly used as bait. This report summarises the trapping data collected from this programme between January 2018 and January 2020.

Overall, 94 animals were caught between January and December 2019 (10 checks), comprising 75 rats, 8 mice, 9 hedgehogs, and 2 weasels. The highest densities of rats were caught around the edges of the reserve, around the margins of the freshwater pond, and along the Linwood Ave Canal bank. The lowest density of rats were caught in areas away from residential, industrial, and retail areas, and very few animals were caught in the tidal basin. Hedgehogs were only caught along the western side of the reserve, typically in bush restoration areas, and the two weasels were caught on opposite sides of the reserve.

Traps along the reserve boundary averaging higher catch rates indicated that predatory mammals were likely making incursions into the reserve from surrounding residential, business and recreational areas.  Black backed gull control actions were also taken in Charlesworth Reserve during 2019, resulting in nil breeding success for that population. Due to signs that possum numbers were slowly increasing in Charlesworth Reserve, the report concluded that several possum traps would soon be deployed.

Charlesworth Predator Control - 2020

Charlesworth Predator Control - Crossland., 2020