Rats and rodents have threatened the Toutouwai population for years and the effects could have led to devastating results. In 1905 the bird was presumed extinct as sightings dwindled, the last being made in that same year. North Island Robins were customarily found inhabiting Mt Taranaki; however, the rats and rodents were quickly killing the species and intervention was required. The birds were removed from the area until it could be made safe for them to survive. An intensive project ensued with the aim of trapping and eradicating the rodents and rats, and finally, the day has come. Toutouwai has been reintroduced into the region once more, and it is there to stay for a long time, since various protection systems have been prepared, to allow it to prosper as it once did. The mountain is alive with the sounds of chirping.
The Eradication Project
Conservationist groups rallied together to create a network of traps that would be the downfall of the predators that fed on the birds and wildlife. The network of traps comprises 2160 Goodnature A24 traps within the 1000 hectare area on the east side of the mountain.
The A24 is a trap that was designed in New Zealand and has the ability to reset itself up to twenty-four time off a CO2 gas cylinder/canister, which is the mechanism which triggers the traps. While the percentages may seem low, the physical results have been astonishing. The rat and rodent population is now well-below the 5% threshold which will allow for the successful survival of the Toutouwai, giving them a chance to flourish once more.
Treasures Of The Island
Toutouwai or North Island Robins are fascinating creatures with a curious nature. The successful reintroduction of the species to Mt Taranaki will once again bring back mystery to the area, and restore the environment back to its former glory.