$4m invested in self-resetting trap pilot project
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionThe Government will spend $4 million to test out new self-resetting traps that have the potential to boost protection for New Zealand’s forests and native species, Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson announced today.
Date: 18 October 2010 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
The Government will spend $4 million to test out new self-resetting traps that have the potential to boost protection for New Zealand’s forests and native species, Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson announced today.
The new funding will allow the Department of Conservation to purchase roughly 10,000 of the innovative Wellington-designed-and-made traps and put them through a rigorous three-year testing programme.
The pilot project is the result of co-operation between the Green Party and the Government. It has been added to the list of joint projects in the Memorandum of Understanding National and the Green Party signed last year in April.
“DOC already spends over $20 million dollars a year controlling possums and ground-based pests like rats and stoats. This is the first large-scale trial of these new traps and if successful, it will add a new cost-effective weapon in the battle against the pests threatening New Zealand's native wildlife,” Ms Wilkinson says.
"Possums, rats and stoats kill millions of native birds every year and devour thousands of tonnes of native forest. There are two different traps we will be trialling, one for rats and stoats and another for possums.
“These new traps can kill up to 12 pests, resetting themselves each time through a gas-powered mechanism, before they need to be set again by hand.”
Ms Wilkinson says a significant cost of pest control is the labour required to regularly visit and reset trap lines, with traditional traps needing to be cleared each month.
DOC has estimated the annual cost of maintaining conventional traps for rats and stoats at $96, compared to $16 for a self-resetting trap. Employing 10,000 self-resetting traps could save $800,000 in labour costs each year.
They are more expensive per unit, costing approximately $150 each against $47 for the traps currently in use.
“The Government shares the Green Party’s desire to explore more effective ways to control pests like possums, rats and stoats.
“I look forward to continuing to collaborate with them as this project gets off the ground.”
Funding will kick in for the trial in the 2011/12 financial year, with the first of the new traps expected to be laid that summer.
Office of the Hon. Kate Wilkinson
+64 4 817 8266 or +64 21 243 8266