- If you use a rat trap it must be placed totally out of reach of a weka, – a roof space or
a high shelf in a garage.
- Outside on the ground is absolutely the wrong place.
- Please make sure that all your families and any visitors get this message!
Sheila our 2 year old female weka (green over yellow – metal) had been paired with Tipene (metal- yellow over red) for almost all her short adult life. She was a good mother producing young up to 3 times in a season. She was one of just 3 adult females in a breeding pair in the area we monitor so she was 33% of our breeding female stock.
I have said “was” as she has fallen victim to a badly placed rat snap trap.
She was seen on Thursday morning 12th July with the upper part of her beak badly damaged, so much so that she was unable to pick up items of food like oats. This meant that without help she would be unable to forage and would eventually starve. It took 4 days to get her into a capture cage.
We took her to the NZ Centre for Conservation Medicine attached to Auckland Zoo. If anyone was going to be able to repair the damage they were the team to do it. The report came back that the injury was “not salvageable” with severe damage to the tissues inside the beak as well as what we could see on the outside. Sadly the decision was been made to euthanise her.
The only way Sheila could have received this injury was in a snap rat trap placed within her reach.
It is vitally important that any rat trap is placed in a situation totally out of reach of a weka, places like a roof space or a high shelf in a garage.
On the ground outside is absolutely the wrong place.
Please ensure that all your families and any visitors who might use your property get this message.
If troubled by rats please use Racumin poison baits that are pet and bird safe. Trial packs are available from WekaWatch (phone 09 2922 512 or 09 2922 221) for $11.