The survey was conducted to gain a better understanding of the actual abundance of pest animals inside the Red Residential Zone.
LINZ engaged biosecurity experts Boffa Miskell Ltd to conduct an extensive pest animal survey across the Residential Red Zone to gain a better understanding of the real numbers of pests that pose a threat to the native wildlife and degrade the health of the ecosystem.
The research was triggered by concerns over high numbers of rabbits in the area.
LINZ also wanted to get a better understanding around other pests in the area, so the scope of the survey was widened to also include other species that were expected to be in the RRZ, including possums, rats, mice, rabbits, mustelids (stoats, weasels and ferrets) and Canada geese.
The data revealed a very low number of possums, mice and rats and virtually no evidence of stoats, weasels or ferrets.
The survey did show that large numbers of Canada geese are using the cleared land for grazing, but there is no evidence the birds were breeding in the area or remaining for longer periods.
The majority of the Canada geese were spotted outside the RRZ, on waterways, estuaries, wetlands and road. As these locations are managed by other agencies, LINZ will share these results with those stakeholders.
Due to the seasonal fluctuations, LINZ will continue to assess rabbit and mice numbers and will provide updates with the results for future monitoring projects.