Predator Free Hawke's Bay has caught more than 8000 predators since 2011, thanks to trapping technology enhancing the region's native biodiversity and inspiring national conservation efforts.
"The new technological developments we're seeing are helping us become more efficient at predator control. We're using more effective wirelessly monitored traps, long-lasting lures, trap design and networks that are really game changing. You can keep an eye on our trap counts which are continuously updated on our new website," says Hawke's Bay Regional Council project lead biodiversity, Wendy Rakete-Stones.
"I've been blown away by the level of involvement from the community, and am really encouraged by how dedicated people are to work together. Only by working side by side can we become predator free."
Hawke's Bay Regional Council manager catchment services, Campbell Leckie, says Predator Free Hawke's Bay continues to be a national leader.
"I'm so proud of what we've achieved together with our communities. From launching our predator free restoration project Whakatipu Mahia, to seeing native bird populations flourishing, teaching our teachers about using nature as a classroom, to doing research and enabling hapu and community to reconnect with nature. It's great that we can now celebrate and promote these successes on our new website," he says.
Campbell says the biggest success of the last year has been getting Whakatipu Mahia, Predator Free Mahia, off the ground.
"It's the largest possum eradication programme in New Zealand and aims to work alongside conservation groups, iwi, hapu, and the local farming community to remove possums from 14,500ha of land on Mahia Peninsula within four years. We've built on the work we've done over the last decade to enhance biodiversity in our restoration projects, Poutiri Ao o Tane and Cape to City."
Predator Free 2050 Limited CEO Ed Chignell says Hawke's Bay was providing leadership for the national effort.
"Predator Free Hawke's Bay is pioneering new methods and providing learnings that will be useful around New Zealand, and importantly integrating these actions with an innovative new regional pest management plan," Ed says.