Lake Ōhau Mistletoe Project

This is a possum trapping project in order to maintain and enhance the mistletoe in the Lake Ōhau beech forests and remnants.  The beech forests around Lake Ōhau contain nationally and internationally significant mistletoe populations of scarlet mistletoe (Peraxilla colensoi), red mistletoe (Peraxilla tetrapetala) and yellow mistletoe (Alepis flavida).

All three of these species are ranked as ‘Declining’ according to the Conservation Status of New Zealand’s Indigenous Vascular Plants (de Lange et al 2012).

Mistletoe

The Lake Ōhau area is recognised by DOC as one of the highest ranked South Island priority areas for mistletoe conservation.

Stage 1 of the project focuses possum trapping effort on the public conservation land between Parsons Creek and Freehold Creek on the western shore of Lake Ōhau.

Project Status:       Possum Trapping Permit approved by DOC on 9 March 2017.

Current activity:      Installation of up to 80 “Trapinator” possum traps (April 2017). Trapping suspended September 2017 because of TB Free poisoning operation in trapping area.

Trapping recommenced November 2018.

Reporting:                Numbers of possums caught per month and results of two-yearly monitoring of identified mistletoe plants.

Table 1: numbers of possums caught per month  

Month2017201820192020
April12 6 #
May22 6 #
June11 5 9#
July12 3 3
August6 5 9
September2 3 
October  3 
November 73 
December 124 
January  82
February  18
March  218*

* traps checked to 10 March 2020

# traps not checked in late March, April, May and June with covid-19 restrictions, 9 possums found when traps checked at end of June 2020.