Debra Jager and Neville Dunton of Whakamarama Community Incorporated
Image: ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Debra Jager is setting up a trap library in Whakamarama with help of DOC's Community Fund. It will loan devices to remove pests and help birds, trees and wildlife in the area thrive.

Date:  02 September 2020

The trap was set for Debra Jager two years ago while listening to a Radio NZ interview with Alison Evans called “Let’s get trapping”. Since then, Debra has been caught up with the national goal of New Zealand being Predator Free by 2050. She is doing her bit by setting up a pest trap library in Whakamarama with the help of DOC's Community Fund.

The trap library will loan locals the right type of predator control device to remove problematic pests like rats, hedgehogs, possums and stoats. The aim is to remove mammalian pests so the birds, trees and wildlife come back to the Whakamarama area.

“When I first heard the interview about pest trap libraries, I thought it was a great idea and that we should have one in Whakamarama,” Debra said.

Along with her husband, Debra pondered the idea with conservationists Bob Cooper, Colin Hewens, Anne Mackersey and local Pirirakau member Carlton Bidois.

“During our conversation Bob expressed his vision to get traps on lifestyle blocks and commercial properties in Whakamarama to increase predator control in the area and supplement the trapping already being done by The Friends of the Blade group. I innocently mentioned about the pest trap library idea, and before I knew it, I was welcomed into the fold of Whakamarama Community Incorporated (WCI) as the lead for a pest trap library.” Debra said.

To get the library off the ground, funding was needed. WCI applied for funding from DOC Community Fund and was successful in getting a grant for $10,400 over 2 years.

The DOC Community Fund contribution will be used to purchase a shipping container to house the library, predator control traps and for administrative costs.

The urban backyard trapping program Predator Free BOP have also come onboard with a donation of 10 rat traps to the library along with the offer of one free rat trap to property owners in the area.  

The community initiative will be located centrally next to the Whakamarama Community Hall and is available to Whakamarama locals.

“It’s a community affair with locals helping get the site ready and the Katikati Men’s Shed will be making the trap boxes for the library,” Debra said.

How the pest trap library will work:

  • initially the library will be open once a week for 2 – 3 hours
  • interested borrowers should contact Debra
  • traps can be loaned for an initial 3 months, with a right to renew traps for a further 3 months max
  • bait recommendations and trapping tips will be also provided

Communities nearby have already heard rumours about the Whakamarama trap library and have been getting in touch with Debra to learn the ropes of how they can set up their own. This is the power of communities working together and helping each other out, so watch out pests – your time in Whakamarama and New Zealand are numbered.


The DOC Community Fund was established in 2014 to support community-led conservation projects on public and private land. Funds are directed towards practical projects aimed at conserving New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity.

This includes initiatives focused on restoring natural habitats and populations of our native species. Funding support for community organisations directly enables more conservation work to be done, more New Zealanders active in the outdoors and more people aware of our country’s unique conservation challenge.


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