DOC conservation ranger Evan Smith setting a stoat trap
The project aims to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the Routeburn area by controlling introduced predators. This will give some security to the vulnerable native species that live near the Routeburn Track, such as kākā, kea, kākāriki and rock wren.
Over time, the goal is to expand the area to join up with other predator control projects in the wider area (ie, Hollyford Valley, Milford Road, Caples Valley and Routeburn/Dart Valleys) so that larger pieces of Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks are protected.
- More than $64,000 has been raised since March 2012.
- 188 trap boxes have been placed between Hollyford Face to Key Summit and the Divide.
- Over 1,500 walkers have donated to the project since March 2012.
- Over 30 rats and 50 stoats have been removed from the Routeburn area.
About the project
Evan Smith, a passionate conservation and hut ranger at Lake Mackenzie Hut on the Routeburn Track, started this project in March 2012. Evan had noticed a decline in the number of birds along the track and decided to do something about it. He put out a few stoat traps and began educating trampers on the danger stoats pose to New Zealand’s native wildlife.
Evan’s passion and personal commitment to the project has inspired over 1,500 concerned trampers to support the project and sponsor additional stoat traps to protect the area.
This project also supports the work being done by the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust in the adjacent Routeburn-Dart area.
How to get involved
Without public support and the help of donations, conservation projects like this are not always possible.
"My family and I enjoyed walking tramping the Routeburn in January, and one of the highlights of the trip, was listening to ranger Evan Smith in the evening. Evan's passion and dedication toward the Routeburn Trap Project was quite apparent, and this passion was certainly contagious amongst the trampers in the hut that night.we were all so inspired, after listening to Evan's presentation". Johan Verhagen (supporter).