19 Apr 2015

Rat plague wiped out in part of national park

8:02 pm on 19 April 2015

A new trapping programme has wiped out a plague of rats in a part of Fiordland National Park.

One of the new traps - and some of its victims.

One of the traps - and some of its victims. Photo: DOC

The Fiordland Conservation Trust and the Department of Conservation installed 469 self-resetting traps in 200 hectares of bush on the Kepler Track last October.

Since the traps were installed, two checks of the area have shown no signs of rats, although plague levels remain outside the trap zone.

The traps are powered by a gas canister and can make 24 kills before a new canister is needed.

Their success means more will be installed in a further 400 hectares of the park.

The project leader, Darren Peters, said if the traps were used throughout the park, they could cut traditional trapping costs by 75 percent.