Project Janszoon is committed to wasp control as a way to not only greatly improve visitors’ experience of the Abel Tasman over the busy summer months but also for its substantial bio-diversity benefits. Wasps compete with our native birds, insects and honey bees for food.
2017 will be the fourth year Project Janszoon and DOC has undertaken wasp control in the Abel Tasman. In 2014 it was trialed around Torrent Bay and Boundary Bay and then in 2015 Project Janszoon funded wasp control over 736ha in the Falls River area as part of a wider DOC pilot programme that was also carried out at four other public conservation land sites. Those trials saw wasp numbers reduced by 95% each season.
In 2016, the control area was extended to include 46km of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, around 17 campsites and four huts, over 110ha at Pitt Head and 736ha in the Falls River Block. It was partly funded by the Abel Tasman Foreshore Scenic Reserve Fund which is funded from foreshore concession fees.
In 2017 the control area was extended again to also include the hillside behind Torrent Bay. In addition the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust will undertake wasp control on Pitt Head, Anchorage, Torrent Bay village (on behalf of the residents) and along the track from Tinline to Holyoakes. If wasp numbers are high enough they will do control at Motuareronui/Adele Island.
Wasp control normally takes place in February when the wasps move into their protein phase. The operations use Vespex®, a protein bait that contains the commonly used insecticide fipronil, which targets wasps and is not attractive to bees. The wasps take the bait back to their nests to feed their larvae, destroying entire nests from one bait-station.
DOC bio-diversity ranger John Henderson undertaking wasp control along the Great Walk