From The Southland Times - Stuff
Endangered birds in one of New Zealand's leading wildlife reserves are under threat again after a small population of rats was found on "rat-free" Ulva Island. Twelve rats have been found in traps on the island in the past fortnight. A juvenile rat was found, which means a breeding population has been established on the island. The island had been rat free for 12 years. If the island was not cleared of rats within six months then the protected birds that had been released there, including the mohua and saddleback, would disappear.This is very serious and the likely way these rats got to the islands is via boats. This island is open to the public and this will need to change. The island is a window to our past and our future if we want it. As Busted Blonde says on Roarprawn in a very good post on the issue
If they have caught 12 in a fortnight then there is a strong possiblity that there are hundreds already established on the sanctuary. Ulva is a window on what Stewart Island once was -alive with the haunting melody of a myriad of nativel birds and lush rich flora.I have just sat outside taking photos of a pair of kereru in the tree. Whilst they were sitting there eyeing up hopefully their new home, a pair of piwakawaka flitted around them and the tui looked on from above. I want my son to be able to experience the cooing of kereru and the mad antics of tui. Let's plant great swathes of new bush and get serious about eradicating pests - it could be done if we had the will and the heart.
Hat tip - Roarprawn