Here’s a not-so-fun fact – did you know that predators kill 25 million native birds a year, over five times the country’s human population?
And the worst of those predators? Rats.
It’s because of facts like this that conservation projects like Pest Free Auckland 2050 and the Urban Rat Project are so vital to protecting our native species from being preyed on by pests.
Michael Fielding from the Urban Rat Project’s Devonport branch appeared on TVNZ’s What Now as part of their Boomin’ Humans feature to chat about the scheme.
The Urban Rat Project is a community-led initiative rallying Aucklanders to free their homes from rats, protect wildlife, and support conservation research, through friendly neighbourhood competition.
When you join, you get personalised updates on your neighbourhood’s latest pest-control numbers. You also log reports of your own rat catches and kills from setting traps and bait stations. To really amp up the race, there’s even a leader-board ranking how different people in the neighbourhood are doing.
Michael, now officially dubbed ‘Chief Ratter’, chatted about what he described as a ‘war against rats’, the best way to kill rats humanely and his emerging competitive spirit at being only 19th on his neighbourhood leaderboard!
Check out his interview, starting 15 minutes in (15.24-19.14 mins).
Short of finding a fellow with a pipe and ability to enchant rats to march along into the river, at least Auckland has people like Michael to protect our birds.
If you want to become a pied piper yourself, get involved with Pest Free Auckland 2050 or sign up for the Urban Rat Project.