Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sorry hedgehogs - you gotta go

This is very interesting

"The humble hedgehog has been outed as public conservation enemy No 1 near the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.
More than half of the 5029 predators caught over four years, across 20,000 hectares of the Tasman riverbed, were hedgehogs."

I have to say I just never thought about hedgehogs like this, they always seemed to me to be an urban dweller.

"The surprisingly adaptable creatures, introduced to New Zealand in the late 19th century, were found as high as 1000 metres above sea-level.
Nelson said the prickly creatures ate birds eggs but it was not known whether they carried off young birds.
They also ate weta, beetles, grasshoppers and even lizards."

"The $745,000 Tasman Valley trapping programme - which is four years into its five-year term - aims to create a "mainland island" to protect riverbed wildlife.
No poisoning is done in the valley.
About 1100 traps were laid from Whale Stream up to, and including, part of the national park. Hedgehogs and stoats were 75 per cent of the trapped predators."

I like this idea of a "mainland island" to protect riverbed wildlife... and it seems to be working!

"The success of the trapping was measured by the breeding of native birds in riverbeds.
This season, the rare wrybill had a 100 per cent success rate for hatching chicks in the Tasman riverbed and only one banded dotterel nest was hit by predators."


Anonymous said...

Yeah a good reminder that a pretty face don't mean nothing. Saw one in the garden the other day but would rather have lizards so may have to deport or bake it. Also got a cute looking possum in the garden which won't hop in my Timms trap no matter how much cinnamon and icing sugar covered apple I put in - seems to prefer the apricot leaves! Arggh. Tried throwing the spade at it but missed. No firearms so might have to revive the slingshot but a bit worried about maiming rather than killing it - hey I'm not a sadist!

Marty Mars said...

Ka pai anon - i know what you mean. They do eat the imported snails but what to do. Possums are cute but over the years I have dealt to a few of them and i have to say they hold tight to life. My auntie and uncle were full-time possumers - had some good recipes but i never tried them. Those aniseed wheels from the past used to attract them quite well.

Hope the Timms works.