One of Project Janszoon’s main priorities is to encourage the successful return of key bird, plant and animal species to the Park. Possums, stoats and rats have been identified as the drivers of ecological decline in the Abel Tasman. Therefore, controlling them through various methods of pest control is central to the Park's turnaround.
Stoats are a major predator for native birds, and are the major cause of decline of key forest species that we want to see back in the Abel Tasman in high numbers, such as kākā, mohua and kākāriki.
Working in conjunction with DOC, Project Janszoon completed a stoat trapping network over the central and southern 16,000 ha of the Park in early 2014. It is the largest stoat trapping network undertaken by a private trust in New Zealand.
In 2016 a further 2,165 ha network was installed in the north of the Park. It was financed through a biodiversity project between Air New Zealand, DOC and Manawhenua ki Mohua. Along with trap lines managed by the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust, this brings the total number of stoat trap boxes in the Park to around 2,600.
The stoat lines are positioned 1 km apart with traps set at 100 m intervals along the tracks. At this density the network meets best practice standards for stoats, but it is not dense enough for effective rat control.
Local students have been involved in supporting these efforts. Golden Bay High School and Waimea College students helped by building 100 trap boxes to house DOC200 stoat traps.
Intensive management of pests is essential for native species to recover. The trap lines will particularly help to protect the kākā and kākāriki/yellow-crowned parakeet, which have started to be reintroduced into the Park.
Visit our YouTube channel to watch the story of the return of kākāriki and kākā to this area.
Project Janszoon is always talking to groups who are researching new technologies for pest control. A commercial scale trial of new, self-resetting traps has been undertaken in the Park. We are keen to offer other opportunities for organisations to trial emerging products as part of our commitment to helping develop new pest control technologies. At times Project Janszoon works with ZIP (Zero Invasive Predators). You can follow some of their predator control initiatives through ZIP.