Friday March 23, 2018   Last updated 04:51AM

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Muttonbirders take on rats

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The Rakiura Titi Islands Administering Body has installed a network of rat traps to protect native birdlife and maintain the sustainable harvest of muttonbird.

Chair Tane Davis says as well as titi, the islands around Rakiura-Stewart Island are home to yellow-eyed penguin, red and yellow-crowned kakariki, saddleback and Stewart Island robin.

Since trapping started several years ago native plant and bird numbers have increased, and one island, Rukawahakura, has been declared predator free.

The programme uses Goodnature A24 rat traps, which self-reset up to 24 times before they need to be reloaded by a human.

The body was set up to manage 18 former Crown islands returned in the 1998 Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement.

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