Ulva Island eradication update: 25 March 2011

Brent Beaven —  30/03/2011

The DOC website has the latest updates on the Ulva Island rat eradication.


A list of Frequently Asked Questions about the situation on Ulva Island has been compiled and placed on the Department of Conservation website.

This list of questions covers what is happening with the rats on Ulva Island as well as information about the proposed eradication operation. If you have another question that isn’t covered by this list, please let me know and I’ll see if I can add it in so that the information is available for everyone.


A date has been set for the meeting to discuss biosecurity. The meeting is planned for the 7.30pm, Thursday 28th April at the Community Centre.

Biosecurity is the term that we give to all of the actions that we take to keep an island pest free. On Ulva Island it consisted of traps and bait stations on the island, traps on people’s boats, quarantine procedures for gear going to Ulva, signage and regular publicity. While the biosecurity network on the island was effective at preventing a rat population establishing for 15 years, it has failed this time round. This has prompted lots of people to have ideas on how it could be improved to further reduce the chances of this situation occurring again. We would like to capture all of these ideas, so please bring them along to the meeting.


Kamahi and ferns, Ulva Island, Stewart Island

The eradication operation isn’t going to be cheap and DOC doesn’t have the funding to pay the full cost of the operation. The Department has reprioritised its work and has found about 50% of the costs.

Thankfully we are starting to get some good community support behind what needs to be done on Ulva Island. This started with The Birdlife International Community Conservation Fund pledging $5000 toward the costs. The Les Hutchins Conservation Foundation has also shown strong support with a promised substantial donation toward the operation. On top of this, the University of Otago has offered to monitor the impact of the rats and the eradication operation on the saddleback and robin populations.

If you think you can help, the Ulva Island Trust is co-ordinating donations. Further details of how to give can be found on their website www.ulvaisland.org.

Resource consent lodged

The Department has lodged a resource consent application with Environment Southland. Environment Southland has notified this consent allowing anyone to make a submission. This notification was in this past Saturday’s newspaper as well as the ES website.

Environment Southland run a good process and we think they will be a good independent evaluator of our proposed methods and controls. We encourage you to make a submission (in support or expressing your concerns), so that ES can fully evaluate this application.