Weka in Kawakawa Bay and Orere Point are a big deal, they’ve survived here when they’ve failed in other places; over the past 10 years they’ve become a regular part of the sounds of our bay. There has been a worrying decline in their numbers since autumn and the few we know about are just along the coastline, behind the houses and within the ring of WekaWatch’s predator control trap lines.
We thought they were relatively safe there but it is clear that our predator control programme is not enough to keep our breeding birds safe. While keeping up our intensive trapping, we must deal with all the other known threats especially as the birds will face food restrictions over this coming El Nino summer. The population is now so small that even the loss of one or two birds will make a huge difference to keeping our threatened weka here in the long term.
What WekaWatch would like you to do . . . . . . .
- Slow down when driving around Coast Road. If a weka is trapped within your car headlight beams at night, stop and flick the lights off so the weka can escape.
- Make sure that your dog does not escape when entering or exiting cars. Keep it under control on your property and preferably on a leash when walking. Please ask visitors to do the same.
- Call us for weka safe rat baits. Common baits with the active agents brodifacoum, bromadiolone, flocoumafen and difenacoum are lethal if weka eat the dead or dying rat. WekaWatch recommends Racumin® and can supply this to you at cost.
- Set traps for rats and possums in a weka safe way. Consult us for advice on setting traps like Timms traps in a weka safe way. We will come and help you set them up or check ones you have placed already.
- Put bowls of water out and feed weka when they visit . Easy food to give them includes cooked pasta, corn kernels or rolled oats. Please do not give them white bread or mouldy foods and clean up uneaten food. If you go away and are feeding weka ask someone else to do this at your usual feeding place in your absence.
- Remove fishing nylon from the beach as this can wrap around and cut the blood supply to the bird’s legs.
Please contact WekaWatch if you:
- Want advice about weka issues or concerns
- Need Racumin® as a safe rat poison.
- Need advice on how to set rat or possum traps safely
- Find a dead weka in any condition
- See or hear any weka.
- Want to get involved in WekaWatch activities.