Despite being predator free, Rotoroa has an annual rat invasion. Wedged between Waiheke and Ponui where rats are still present, Rotoroa is within easy swimming distance for discerning rats attracted by the smell and sounds of native species or perhaps just find a rat free island a better place to be. However on visiting Rotoroa their holiday comes to a sharp end. We provide a range of Hotel California (you can visit but never leave..) type accommodation for rats in the form of rodent motels (traps and poison baits), DOC 200’s (complete with egg lure and trap) and tracking tunnels (ink cards to attract footprints).
Some rats don’t like traps and just eat bait so we don’t always find a body. But we have another weapon – Biosecurity dogs – the combo of their brilliant handlers and those sensitive noses are the ultimate tool. They provide the remaining confidence that we need to say that rat is no more.
Check out biosecurity dog Kosher at work on Rotoroa. Kosher came along with handler Lois Clayton, as part of the Pest Free Hauraki Gulf programme, to monitor the island and give us the all clear. (Photo credit: Lois Clayton, Auckland Council)
Lois and Kosher feature on Radio NZ report - Dogs on a mission aided by environmentally-friendly transport