A meeting was held at the Otatara Community Church in Oreti Road, on Wednesday, 8 August where 36 people were entertained by Peter McClelland from DoC Southland with slides of off-shore pest eradication and ideas on how we can all help our local birdlife. Spring is almost here and the birds are showing nesting signs so now is the time to check your traps and renew bait stations.
The meeting was chaired by Brian Rance, with Tim Riding from Environment South and other committee speakers detailing advice about poisons, traps and access to these. Results were also shared from locals who have been trapping on their properties, and the Bluff, Riverton, Invercargill Estuary and Bushy Point projects.
A vigorous discussion was held about pests including cats in Otatara where many wild cats abound due to being dropped off by irresponsible people to fend for themselves. We believe that most domestic cats if kept in at night and well fed will not be too damaging to our birdlife although obviously they will still get a few. Cats can be caught in cage traps and otherwise disposed of once ownership is established, but Pestbusters do not target domestic cats in traps provided.
Although the turnout was quite good, there are still many people in Otatara who we believe are protecting their properties from pests, and we encourage you to get in touch with us so that your name can be included on our list and your property can be ‘flagged’ on our map.
There are also many people who seem to have the opinion that they have no rats, therefore do not seem to care about getting rid of pests to the advantage of our breeding birds. We encourage everyone to speak to neighbours and increase the number of pestbusters, and we hope native birds in Otatara.