Owning pets in an ecological area

Pets are great companions and play a huge role in the lives of many people. But it’s important  we take their impact on the natural environment seriously.  Here are some pointers for pet owners. 

Being a great Dog owner 

Keeping your dog on a leash in natural areas where there are ground based bird populations is the best way to ensure it is not inadvertently damaging or disturbing birdlife. West Auckland has a number of areas within a twenty-minute drive of South Titirangi where you can exercise your dog off-leash. Details are on the Auckland Council website.

 

Keeping Cats inside at night 

Cats are agile natural hunters and their independent nature means they can be difficult to contain. A typical cat is believed to range over 2.2 hectares. Keeping your cat inside, particularly at night, is the most efficient and effective step you can take in reducing its ability to hunt native birds. Have a chat with your vet if you need assistance and advice about this. Ensure your cat is sterilised, and attach a bell to its collar (if it will tolerate one). 

 

Chickens and kauri 

Roaming chickens are considered a possible vector for Kauri Dieback. Ensuring your chickens are contained to an area without Kauri is important in South Titirangi. Visit www.kauridieback.co.nz for more information 

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Case study: ōi chicks on the peninsula 

In 2018 a resident in South Titirangi identified that ōi (grey-faced petrel) were re-establishing burrows on a South Titirangi headland. Working with the University of Auckland, the group systematically worked to improve habitat and eliminate threats to these birds, which leave their young to grow in burrows for several months, only returning to feed them at night. 

 

By placing motion detector cameras outside burrows, they were able to identify the presence of rats, mice, hedgehogs, a ferret, and also some local cats. 

 

When it comes to any roaming cats and dogs, the grey-faced petrels are considered to be under most threat at night when they leave their burrows. Local cat owners were contacted by their STNN neighbourhood co-ordinator and agreed to keep their cats inside at night – a good resolution for the wellbeing of this particular species.

These pages were created with support of the Waitākere Ranges Local Board

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