Introduced predators like rats and possums are our worst enemies. Our eggs and babies are defenceless against them and they catch and kill us adult birds.
Many people don't realise how many pests there are in a typical Auckland backyard. Rats, possums, stoats and ferrets are mostly nocturnal, and they quickly disappear at the first sign of a human. So, you're unlikely to ever see them.
However, if you use a chew card or lay a good trap or two, you'll soon find out how busy your backyard is while you're blissfully sleeping.
Types of traps
Predators can detect the scent of a human on a trap, which can frighten them off. To avoid detection, always wear gloves when baiting and placing traps
Rats and possums find it hard to resist a nice lump of peanut butter. Chocolate/nut spreads work well too.
Encourage your neighbours to place traps by telling them about your trapping successes
Make sure your rubbish and compost bins are pest-proof.
Poison isn't always a good solution and where it is used, be very careful to choose the right poison for the situation. Some rats don't respond to poison and they breed more poison-resistant rats. It can be dangerous for household pets, like dogs and cats, or other non-target species if they find it or eat a poisoned rat.
Different predators need different traps and bait. Predator Free NZ has a range of effective traps, but make sure you always follow the directions for use.
If you want to learn more about how you can save our backyard bird song visit Auckland Council’s new website Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau | Conservation Auckland.
Thanks for helping us native birds by making your backyard a pest-free haven.