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Trapper of the Year highlights commitment to pest control



20 July, 2022


thumbnail Kathryn Clark TOTY 2022 copy-408Anticipation was running high at the annual Trapper of the Year awards dinner held recently by Piroa-Brynderwyns Landcare.

The awards are the culmination of another highly successful year of community-led conservation work in the Piroa Brynderwyns High Value Area (HVA), bounded by Waipu, Brynderwyn, Bream Tail and Mangawhai. Northland Regional Council provides annual funding to the local steering group to assist with pest animal and plant work.

At 23,500 hectares this block is now the second largest HVA in Northland, with over 20 volunteer groups involved in trapping, 10 groups involved in creating healthy plant habitats, and local schools with education programmes.

The growing number of people involved and traps deployed are seeing exciting results as many landowners report increases in native birds such as tui, bellbirds and kereru in their gardens. Reports of regular kiwi calls and presence are now being confirmed at Bream Tail, above Langs Beach and towards Waipu West.

Winners were announced in the categories of trapping and weed action and trophies were presented by Northland Regional Councillor Rick Stolwerk. This year’s award winners are:

· Trapper of the Year (TOTY): Kathryn Clark

· Rookie Trapper of the Year (ROTY): Ian Burke

· Weed Warriors of the Year (WOTY): Waiarahi Trackies

Last year’s Rookie Trapper of the Year, Kathryn Clark, took out the supreme award this year, with her dedication to trapping at Waiarahi/Langs Beach Reserve. Kathryn has amassed an impressive catch record of 298 pest animals including 208 rats, 62 possums, five stoats and three weasels over this 35 hectare reserve. One of highlights of the year was observing a ruru nest in a ponga within the reserve and two chicks fledge in spite of a possum visiting and subsequently being caught.

After accepting her award, Kathryn recounted the trapping demonstration she did for the surf club rookies at Waipu last year, where she pulled out a possum from the freezer to the shrieks of her audience.

Ian Burke has earnt his rookie trapper stripes as he strode out in all weather with trapping coordinator Graeme Giles into challenging terrain in the Bream Tail area, assisting the deployment of hundreds of traps and bait stations on

private and public land. Ian’s contribution has been outstanding and will play a big part if accelerating our efforts in the ranges.

And to our Weed Warriors, congrats again to the Waiarahi Trackies for receiving the Highly Commended prize at the Northland Regional Council Whakamanawa a Taiao - Environmental Awards, on June 27. Keep up the great work on the Langs Beach Scenic Reserve and surrounding area.

Congratulations and thanks to all the award winners and all the volunteers.

Kathryn Clark is presented with her award for Trapper of the Year, with an impressive catch record of 298 pest animals. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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