South Kaipara Landcare is running a trap loan project to help locals control pests on their property. The South Head peninsula is home to many threatened and endangered species, which are at the mercy of pests like stoats, ferrets and possums. Stoats and ferrets also attack chickens, and possums are very effective at stripping fruit trees.
South Kaipara Landcare chairperson, Greg Smith says, “We know people often have trouble with these pests but don’t always know how to deal with them. Traps can also be expensive to buy”.
For a small bond of $10, South Head locals are able to loan a trap from the group. Committee members experienced in trapping are also on hand to explain how to safely use the traps and the best methods for catching pests.
A variety of traps are on offer meaning there is something available for most situations. “Some people prefer a trap that kills the animal, others prefer a live trap. As well as knowing what you want to trap, it’s important to consider what you don’t want to catch – such as the pet cat or inquisitive birds.,” says Mr Smith.
The group also have plans to run a pest control workshop in July. This will be an opportunity for people to come along and gain some first hand knowledge and experience about controlling pests. The trap loan project has been made possible thanks to grant from the Auckland Council. This grant is also helping the group do targeted pest control in Lake Rototoa reserve.
More information about the South Kaipara Landcare and the trap loan project can be found on the groups website www.southkaiparalandcare.org or on facebook https://
www.facebook.com/southkaiparalandcare/. People interested in loaning a trap can email email@example.com or ph Bill on 09 4202947.
Further Background Information
The South Head peninsula is rich in biodiversity. Rare species use the harbour edges for feeding during summer before returning to the Northern Hemisphere to breed, such as the bar-tailed godwit and lesser knot. Threatened or endangered native species, such as the North Island fernbird, fairy tern, crake, Australasian bittern, banded rail, NZ dotterels, NZ dabchick, South Island pied oystercatcher, pied stilt, and wrybill are also present.
Significant local populations of black swan, pukeko, and grey duck also breed in the area.
The peninsula also has numerous Significant Ecological Areas and rare botanical species such as king fern.
Animal pests such as mustelids predate on nesting birds and their young. Pests such as possums devour vegetation and eat eggs and chicks. Rats are also a constant threat, eating birds eggs, kakahi (freshwater mussels) and whitebait eggs.
The South Kaipara Landcare mission statement is ‘awhi te whenua’ (embracing the land). The group are involved in many projects including; running a local nursery offering subsidised plants to locals, running an annual roadside clean up day, planting and weeding days.