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/tuke.
- Over 2,000 walkers have donated more than $200,000 since March 2012.
- There are now 652 trap boxes along the Routeburn Track from the Divide through to the Harris Basin including the Hollyford Faces.
- DOC’s partnership with Air New Zealand, alongside iwi and other partners, has enabled the project area to grow to over 10,000 hectares. It has joined with other predator control areas on both sides of the Divide.
- In 2013 the efforts of DOC conservation ranger Evan Smith were recognised when he was highly commended in the Environmental Achiever category of Environment Southland’s Environmental Awards.
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 2,000 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. DOC has partnered with New Zealand Nature Fund to manage donations for this special project.
"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).