Getting rid of pests
Up until June 2009, there were huge numbers of rats on the islands of Ipipiri. They were gnawing through tents on Urupukapuka Island to get to campers’ food; eating native birds, both adults and their eggs, and destroying the bush by eating native plant seeds.
In winter 2009, the Department of Conservation eradicated all rats, mice and stoats from the islands of the eastern Bay. Project Island Song is all about maintaining the pest-free status of these islands.
Pest-free islands are wonderful places – full of hope for the future. Without rats, the plants can recover and provide food for birds. Without rats and stoats, the birds will return and the islands of Ipipiri will sing again.
But – these islands are vulnerable to reinvasion, especially as they are within rat- and stoat-swimming distance of the mainland.