Date: 23 January 2018
DOC is working alongside an innovative concept, the Valleys Conservation Project, to encourage more people to get involved with Predator Free 2050.
The brain-child of Aucklander Mike Fisk, the project came about after his witnessing the decline of bird-life in the area during his 40-plus years visiting the area.
“A regular visitor to Fiordland since the 1970s, I’ve observed first-hand the devastating decline of bird-life,” Mike says.
Mike and his team installed 250 Goodnature self-resetting traps, which target rats and stoats, along 13 km of the Cozette/Camelot Valley, west of Te Anau, in October 2016.
The group fly down from Auckland twice a year to service their traps. During the first 12 months the traps cleared about 1,000 predators from the valley and a recent Whio survey confirmed successful breeding.
Heartened by their success, Mike is now encouraging others to come on board,
In partnership with DOC and the New Zealand National Parks and Conservation Foundation, he’s launched the Valleys Conservation Project. It aims to establish trap lines in eight neighbouring areas, to complement DOC’s existing conservation efforts.
The Project, a recipient of the recent funding round of DOC's PF2050 Community Fund, enables individuals, groups or corporate teams to run their own bite sized, geographically distinct, conservation project.
"There's a growing realisation that we can't just sit back and 'let the government do it'. If we want to preserve our natural heritage, Kiwis have to get out there and help," Mike says.
“We’re offering the sense of purpose and satisfaction that comes from being involved in a worthwhile endeavour – not to mention the bonus of spending time in beautiful and remote areas while enjoying the company of like-minded folk.”
DOC's Southern South Island PF2050 ranger Nicole Kunzmann says initiatives like the Valleys Conservation Project are crucial if we're going to achieve a predator free NZ by 2050.
“Passionate efforts like these, that reinforce conservation is everyone’s business, will help us reach the Predator Free 2050 goal, and save our birds and wildlife for future generations.”