Sunday, 21 October 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Predator Free 2050 - backyard trapping counts

A contribution by Moira Cursey of the Waikato Biodiversity Forum

Predator Free 2050 (PF2050) is an ambitious goal to rid New Zealand of the most damaging introduced predators that threaten our nation’s natural taonga and economy.

Rats, stoats and possums kill millions of native birds every year and have pushed species to the brink of extinction. Managing these three predators alone costs more than $70 million each year.

PF2050 brings together central and local government, iwi, philanthropists, non-government organisations, businesses, science and research organisations, communities, land owners and all of us. The objective is to relieve New Zealand of the pests that are killing our birds, insects and reptiles. 

Communities across NZ have been coming together to join in with PF2050.

Recently, a group has formed in the Flaxmill Bay area, initiated by a resident who was sitting on his deck one morning and saw a stoat run across the lawn. He was taken aback and had an “ah-ha” moment seeing the stoat, realising the native birdsong was not as present as it used to be. This man and his wife decided to do something about it. He began by talking to neighbours and some local conservation workers and now the group is raising funds to get traps out into people’s backyards.

This is a great example of trapping and monitoring predators in your own backyard. It is an important step you can take to help achieve the PF2050 goal. You can make a difference by setting a trap in your garden and catching pests like mice, rats, possums and stoats.

Rats and mice do not like to run across big open areas like lawns and instead tend to stay near the cover of plants or buildings. This means that a good place to put your trap is beside a wall or bank, as the rats and mice are likely running along there.

The Predator Free New Zealand Trust provides comprehensive advice to help start backyard trapping. Visit www.predatorfreenz.org. Every little bit counts towards PF2050 and protecting our gems on the Coromandel and everywhere else in New Zealand.

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