Catching rats at Everett Park; Todd Energy supports the East Taranaki Environmental Collective’s expansion project

Located 8 km east of Inglewood, the Everett Park Scenic Reserve sits on the banks of the Manganui River. It’s a popular swimming, walking and fishing spot where many of us have happy memories playing in the river or exploring the bush.

At 85 ha, it’s the second largest reserve on the Taranaki Ring Plain (after the Taranaki National Park), making it a key local podocarp forest remnant.
The reserve doesn’t have a trapping network and pests such as possums, rats, feral cats, ferrets and stoats call it home, destroying native birds and wildlife, and causing it to be empty of birdsong.
The East Taranaki Environmental Collective (ETEC) wants to change this.
“As part of our expansion plan, Te Whakakotahi, we want to regenerate Everett Park, making it one of our key environmental education sites,” says ETEC’s General Manager, Rebecca Somerfield.
“Rats are a massive problem within the reserve, and we want to focus on their eradication for a few key reasons: we’re going to set up mustelid and possum traps to target these pests but with so many
rats, it’s likely the rats will get to the bait well before the target species do, making our pest control efforts less effective.
Rats also eat chicks and eggs in nests, which can have a devastating effect on native bird populations.”
Todd Energy has agreed to support the ETEC’s pest eradication efforts at the Reserve for the next three years.
“This funding will be used to help re-gas and re-lure the self-resetting traps we will install in the Reserve to target rats, which we will initially do more regularly than usual,” says Rebecca.
“This will help us to rapidly drop the rat levels in the Reserve and, from there, we’ll be able to target other pest species within the area without interference from rats. Hopefully all these efforts will lead to better breeding seasons for the native wildlife within the Reserve, and increased biodiversity in the future. Thanks Todd Energy!”

Norfolk School students and ETEC Ranger Corbyn setting up research to understand the best traps for possums in Everett Park;
work which was funded through the Curious Minds Fund.
Staff from the East Taranaki Environment Trust (ETEC). Back row left to right: Corbyn (Field Ranger), Chris French (Trust Chair), Jayden (Senior Field Ranger).
Front row left to right: Kat (Conservation Manager), Rebecca (General Manager), Karen (Administration), and Leighwae (Apprentice).