Possum Control

An extensive network of nearly 500 possum traps extends right across the 1000 hectares of the northern forest block in East Harbour Regional Park (EHRP) using two types of kill trap – Possum Master and Timms traps. These are baited with long lasting cereal bait and an attractant made up of flour, icing sugar and spices is spread around the traps. Traps are checked by volunteers fortnightly in most cases and monthly where catches are falling to very low levels.

The Results

Regular possum trapping has significantly reduced levels of possums in the forest. Prior to the start of regular trapping the RTC (Rate of Trap Catch or number of possums caught per 100 trap nights) was 27 percent. In 2013 this figure has fallen to only 2 percent. Moreover, the RTC has now been held below 5 percent consistently for the last 9 years (since 2004) when regular park-wide trapping across the 1000 hectares of the Park commenced.

Annual Possum RTC:

Actual possum numbers caught by MIRO have continued to fall, the latest annual figure for the year to the end of May 2013 was only 206, well down on the large numbers caught in the early years.

EHRP Annual Possum Catch

Maintaining the trapping on a regular basis and servicing the huge number of traps required involves a huge physical effort, and the results of the latest monitor are a testament to the dedication of the MIRO Trappers. It is gratifying to consider how the flora and fauna of the forest will be flourishing with the suppression of these predators.

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