At a glance


  • On the islands of Ngā Motu / Sugar Loaf Islands there are 21 bait stations and 30 traps – made up of A24, stoat and T-Rex rat traps.
  • Along Centennial Park there are 103 T-Rex rat traps. All are serviced by Francis Douglas Memorial College.
  • New Plymouth District Council and Port Taranaki also conduct predator control around Paritutu and Port Taranaki. Collectively this provides a barrier to prevent pests from moving onto the islands of Ngā Motu.





Restoring Ngā Motu together


The intensive barrier of traps on Ngā Motu / Sugar Loaf Islands has reduced the number of rats and other predators on the five islands.

In total, about 10,000 individuals from 19 species of seabird nest on these islands including the nationally vulnerable flesh footed shearwater and the declining sooty shearwaters/white fronted terns. They remain important nesting sites for the white-faced storm petrels and fluttering shearwaters. There is also a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals. The nationally endangered Cook’s Scurvy Grass is also recorded in low numbers.

The five Islands are important to Ngā Mahanga a Tāiri of Taranaki Iwi and Ngāti Te Whiti of Te Atiawa Iwi as they were places where their tūpuna sheltered when necessary. Four of the islands provided access to abundant coastal resources such as fish, birds and plants. Pararaki was the exception as it was home to a seagull nesting colony.

Taranaki Mounga work closely with the hapū, Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa, Te Kahui o Taranaki and DOC to make sure this collective predator control effort meets their aspirations for the islands. Representatives also help with monitoring and trap servicing.

The increase in trapping means nearly all rats and mice have been wiped out. Ongoing monitoring will determine when the islands are predator-free.

Since October 2020, only four rats have been trapped on Mataora Island. No sign of predators was detected on Pararaki and Motuotamatea during routine weekly re-servicing of 10 specially designed traps.

The traps contain a DOC200 stoat trap, a mouse trap and A24 resetting trap, as well as a rat lure formulated by pest control company Zero Invasive Predator (ZIP) to reduce manual servicing.

The ongoing servicing of the 100-trap network and bait stations along Centennial Drive and Paritutu Rock on the mainland near Port Taranaki has also helped stop pests swimming to the islands. This work has been carried out by New Plymouth District Council, Francis Douglas Memorial College students and Port Taranaki.



Traps in the Area