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Community groups battle it out to become predator free

Published: 18 November 2016
Kereru 

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Vote for predator free communities

Four Auckland-based community groups are competing for a spot in the finals of Kiwibank’s Next Predator Free Community, alongside 10 other contestants. 

Auckland Council Senior Biodiversity Advisor Ben Paris is urging people to vote for a local initiative.

“It would be great to have a local group as the Next Predator Free Community. The four candidates –Omaha Beach Community, Whakaupoko Landcare, Karaka Bay, and Pest-Free Kaipatiki – have each created a video that showcases the rich biodiversity of the Auckland region, which is currently under threat due to relentless numbers of predators,” he says.

Competing communities

The Omaha Beach Community can lay claim to some of the rarest birdlife in the world and residents have been instrumental in protective initiatives. Their vision is a pest-free ecological corridor from their beach to Tawharanui Regional Park. 

Sixty years ago, Patamahoe in Franklin reverberated with the sound of native birdlife. Whakaupoko Landcare are passionate about restoring the birdlife and natural environment to its former glory. Over the last decade, their solutions have seen tui populations increase fivefold, while kereru numbers have doubled. However, there’s still work to be done.

Pest-Free Kaipatiki is seeking to make the largest area of bush on Auckland’s North Shore pest-free, as the area is a part of the North-West Wildlink, which connects the Hauraki Gulf with Waitakere Ranges. If they win they hope they will be able to expand awareness and their volunteer network.

Karaka Bay in Glendowie also finds the dawn chorus becoming quieter as rats and possums take their toll. They intend to use non-toxic traps to help bring birdsong back to the bay.

Pest control in Auckland 

Auckland Council Biosecurity and Biodiversity teams have a strong relationship with a range of community groups across Auckland, and offers tailored pest-management and biodiversity protection advice.

Paris says community groups and council teams are united by their ambition to “see Auckland become pest free, and connecting nature across the region.”

Vote for a pest-free Auckland

Vote for your favourite initiative at Predator Free NZ.

Voting closes at 5pm on 25 November 2016. The 10 communities with the most votes will become finalists and judges will then choose five winners.  Winners will be announced on 2 December at 5pm.

To learn how to help protect your community from pests, visit Wildlife and Your Backyard and Nature Space.