Wildlife Protection Services NZ

Quarantine - Auckland City

Quarantine work is a crucial step towards an efficient biosecurity system when conserving predator free islands or sanctuaries. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to eradicate pests, and it takes committment and decipline to keep the predators off and not accidently re-introduce them. 

Auckland City is fortunate to have some of the most accessible and well-known predator-free islands just a boat trip away from the city centre. It has provided ample opportunity for large amounts of visitors and groups to experience the wildlife, including many schools and students.

But with so many people, gear and vessels arriving on these islands - quarantine becomes a hugely important procedure. 

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The rodent dogs checking gear destined for one of the predator-free islands in Auckland City Centre.

Some of the gear was cling-wrapped to help stop foreign animals from hiding inside the packs.

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Fonterra

Over the past two years, Wildlife Protection Services' rodent detection team have been checking a few of the North Island Fonterra dairy processing plants. The dogs being useful in searching the large factories for any incursions or presence of rodents in a small time-frame.  The dogs were able to pin-point areas of interest within a matter of hours, and confirmed that rodents were not inside any of the buildings. 

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The dogs are a useful tool in incursion responses where a rat or mouse has become trap or poison-shy and are almost impossible to catch, which has proven in past incursions to take months of continuous surveillance and alternatives, costing hundreds to thousands of dollars. In any large building or storage facility, dogs are an invaluable resource when trying to locate a small mammal in a short amount of time, not relying on the rodent itself to make the first move. 

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Kapiti Island

Since May 2014, the rodent detection dog team have been involved with the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve by conducting twice-yearly surveys of the predator free sanctuary, as well as aiding in public awareness and publicity actioned by the Department of Conservation for the numerous schools and day-trippers visiting the island from the Kapiti Coast.

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Macquarie Island

The rodent detection team spent 13 months on the Australian sub-Antarctic island, working for the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services as part of the post eradication monitoring team. 

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WPS dog handler Leona Plaisier with rat dogs Chase and Bail climbing up the escarpment of Hurd Point, Macquarie Island, with one of the largest known colonies of Royal penguins in the background. 

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