'Ratty' Auckland suburb declares war on rodents as traps laid on prime real estate

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Fifteen-hundred rat traps are being put out in backyards across the Auckland seaside suburb of Devonport to help keep nearby Hauraki Gulf islands predator-free.

The posh seaside suburb hopes to help create a vital 'green corridor' across Auckland.
Source: Seven Sharp

Seven Sharp reports the prime real estate of Devonport has some of the best views in Auckland and also has lots of rats.

"Devonport it quite a ratty suburb, we have discovered. Which was a surprise to some. But when you've seen them in daylight running across Victoria Road, you know you've got a problem," said resident Sid Cuthbertson.

"Everyone's talking about 'should I have a rat trap or not?'"

In a partnership between Auckland Council and Ngati Whatua Orakei, 1500 traps are going into backyards across Devonport.

Council biodiversity expert Ben Paris says Devonport is strategically located for the project because it's a peninsula with water on three sides and also in close proximity to Rangitoto and Motutapu islands.

Currently those islands are predator free, and getting rat numbers down in Devonport will help them stay that way and create a vital 'green corridor' across Auckland.

"We're working towards something that's called the northwest wild link, which is trying to bring birds from the Hauraki Gulf islands across to the mainland, and right across to the Waitakere Ranges," Mr Paris said.

Suburbia is playing a role in making New Zealand predator-free and Ms Cuthbertson is confident her community can win.

"It's not just about putting out your trap and leaving it. It does need monitoring, and that's why we need the residents involvement and  participation in the programme if we're going to be successful," she said.

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