Community stoat line celebrates 1st anniversary
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA small but committed group of Ashhurst locals recently celebrated the completion of their first year trapping stoats along the Manawatu Gorge Track.
Date: 23 September 2010
A small but committed group of Ashhurst locals recently celebrated the completion of their first year trapping stoats along the Manawatu Gorge Track.
Group spokesman Dr. Mike Shepherd said that although there had been a few challenges along the way, the group was very pleased with how many pests they had controlled and how satisfying this had been. “We’ve trapped 220 rats, 33 stoats and 30 hedgehogs,” he said. “That’s nearly 300 less pests that the native birds here have to deal with”. He is particularly pleased about eliminating the 33 stoats which he describes as “killing machines”.
Volunteer Janet Wilson cleared this
squashed stoat from a trap
Dr. Shepherd said that the group is keen to continue their work. “It’s great to get out for a walk along the Gorge and checking on the traps adds another point of interest. Living in and around Ashhurst we feel quite a connection with the Gorge so this project is an opportunity to be involved.”
Dr. Shepherd asks members of the public to leave the traps alone. “Tampering with the traps could be dangerous and could influence the accuracy of the data that is being collected,” he explained.
The stoat trapping programme is part of the Greater Manawatu Gorge Project, a multi agency approach to enhancing the natural and recreational values of the wider area. This includes the Manawatu River, Ashhurst Domain, Manawatu Gorge Scenic Reserve, Ferry Reserve, Woodville Domain, road reserve, land managed by On Track and some adjoining private land. The Department of Conservation (DOC) and Horizons Regional Council are the driving partners, and many other organisations, groups and individuals contribute significantly in numerous ways.
Some other significant milestones for the project have been reached over the last year. These include major track, road, car park and picnic area upgrades, new information and interpretation signs and thousands of native trees planted. A large pou whenua is currently in construction to be erected at the western entrance to the gorge.
Jason Roxburgh, Area Manager for DOC, is looking forward to an event later in the year to celebrate with all the partners. “There is a massive amount being achieved together which we could not do as individual organisations”, said Mr Roxburgh. “The Ashhurst ‘stoaties’ have played their part with enthusiasm and commitment, typical of everyone involved in the project”.