Blumine Pest Monitoring Report 06, 07 and 08
Tracking Tunnels

We have put together a collection of data gathered from the last three years (post poisoning program) of the college trips to Blumine Island with the ‘Untouched World’ sponsored Blumine Is. Experience. The data includes the GPS co-ordinates of where the tracking tunnels were placed, the name of the tracking box and the results of what were found on the ink cards.

Placement of Tunnels

Monitor.JPG
Tracking Tunnel Locations



All dots shown on the map indicate the GPS co-ords of a tracking tunnel site. Note however, that a very few tracking tunnels have not been able to be GPS positioned, as signal from satellites in some places is weak or non-existent
All of the tracking tunnels have been placed along the sides of established tracks on Blumine Is. with a reasonably regular spread.

Baits


The only baits that have been used in the tracking tunnels have been fresh Rabbit skin/fur, and Peanut Butter. With some monitoring dates, only one type of bait was placed in the tracking tunnels, (either Peanut Butter OR Rabbit was used in each), and at least one other date (March 2007), tunnels were baited with BOTH Rabbit and Peanut Butter.


Monitoring Periods

The Tracking Sheets for all monitoring dates have been left in the tunnels for two full nights and the day between. The sheets are put out the day preceding the first night and are retrieved during the day after the second night.
Dates monitoring have taken place from 2006:
· March 2006
· Between 3-8 December 2006
· 11-13 December 2006
· 13-15 March 2007
· Between 3-8 December 2007
· Between 9-13 December 2007
· 1-3 March 2008

Results


No Mouse, Rat, Stoat, Ferret or Hedgehog prints have been identified on the Tracking Sheets during the three years of the monitoring program.
Most Tracking Sheets show a great deal of activity by Weta and Lizards/Skinks.

Analysis


The results from the monitoring program over the last three years show the positive impact of the poisoning program on the parts of the Island that have maintained tracks, and it can be assumed that these areas are pest-free. But a large part of Blumine Island (the Eastern side) has not been monitored. It can be seen on the map on (top) as the area with no dots. This is largely because this area has no established tracks. We therefore do not have any data to prove that the Eastern side is pest-free as well, or any data to the contrary.
Another thing to be pointed out is the changing of the names of the Tracking Tunnels over time with no link to the previous name (see data sheets) . The problem came about as the vivid ink faded over time making it unreadable. This is not a big issue as there were no pests detected, but should there have been pests found it may have become useful to look over previous records as a comparison. An improvement may be to mark the tunnels with a more permanent method.

Report by Liam Falconer.