Volunteer trapping programme starting to fire
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA volunteer trapping project - part of the Department of Conservation’s Project Kaka programme to protect native birds in the Tararua Forest Park – is starting to prove its worth.
Date: 16 November 2010
A volunteer trapping project - part of the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) Project Kaka programme to protect native birds in the Tararua Forest Park - is starting to prove its worth.
Since July, local volunteers and DOC staff have been busy setting up pest control and monitoring lines at Donnelly Flat in the Mt Holdsworth area. Possums, stoats and rats, which are responsible for killing native wildlife and destroying native vegetation, are the targets of this project.
Trapping started just over a month ago with 49 possums alone caught in the first week traps were set. A further 20 rats and stoats have also been captured.
Local volunteer Linda Walker said the volunteers were excited about the project.
“Hopefully we can bring down the number of pests quickly. We can’t wait to see the forest improving and notice more birds around here.
"We know that you can’t get instant gratification, and that’s why we are committed to the project for the long term,” she added.
DOC rangers Sandra Burles and Joe Hansen accompanied the volunteers while they were checking the traps and bait stations.
“Our monitoring shows high numbers of rats and possums in the Tararuas. Birds are currently nesting and the fact that the traps are already firing shows how important it is to act.”
The trapping programme is part of Project Kaka Tararua Nature Recovery - a 10 year predator control operation to boost the numbers of native birds such as kaka, keruru, tui and bellbird in the Tararuas.
“Aerial treatment with a biodegradable toxin like 1080 is the best option for difficult or remote terrain, but it is appropriate to target the pests at Donnelly Flat with ground-based traps,” says DOC’s Wairarapa Area manager Chris Lester.
“This area is relatively easily accessible, and we’re lucky to have the strong support of volunteers who are doing a great job in placing and monitoring the traps.”
The control at Donnelly Flat will take place every year during spring, summer and autumn.
New volunteers are welcome to help out with checking and re-baiting traps, filling bait stations and monitoring pest and bird populations, and vegetation.
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