Summer and Autumn Rabbit Control on Ōhinerau / Mt Hobson – Night Closures

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On behalf of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, the Regional and Specialist Parks and Biosecurity teams within Auckland Council will be undertaking rabbit control by night shooting on:

·         Monday 26th February (rain date Tues 27th Feb)

·         Monday 26th March (rain date Tues 27th March)

The maunga will be closed between 10pm and 5am on the nights when control is taking place.

Where it is safe, and prior permission has been gained, some work may occur on selected private properties.

Why is rabbit control required?

The burrowing and feeding activity of rabbits contributes significantly to soil erosion and is one of the greatest threats to archaeological and geological values of Auckland’s Maunga. Rabbits also cause damage to native plants and vegetation on the Maunga and surrounding properties. Rabbits are prolific breeders and one adult pair can produce a further 100 plus rabbits in one year if uncontrolled.

 When and how will the control take place?

Due to the high public use of this site, a carefully controlled night shooting operation is currently considered the most effective way to control rabbits at this site.

Specific details for night shooting are as follows:

·         Timing will be between 12.00pm (midnight) and 4am on weekdays (NO operations will occur on weekends, Fridays or school holidays)

·         Security personnel will patrol Maunga entrances and boundaries  throughout the operation

·         There will only be one firearm in use. This will be a silenced .22 calibre rifle using low velocity ammunition to prevent ricochets

·         The contractor will only target rabbits within a specified distance and will only fire on 100 per cent identification that the target is a rabbit. No firing will take place near the top of a ridge or the Maunga boundary. Firing will only occur against a safe backdrop

·         Signage will be in place 24 hours in advance at all entrances to the Maunga

·         Each shooting operation occurs under a police event number.

The selected contractor has a strong record in pest animal control and would like to reassure all Maunga neighbours that their pets will not be affected by this operation. However, for peace of mind, neighbours may wish to keep pets indoors on the evenings contractors are working in the area.

If you have any questions regarding this operation please contact Sarah Gibbs on 021 815 397 or at sarah.gibbs@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

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