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Kiwi pest trapping workshop offered

Effective, ongoing trapping of animal predators has been vital to the survival of Northland brown kiwi released in the Brynderwyns at Marunui Conservation between 2013 and 2015 – chicks are particularly vulnerable.

Marunui Conservation is organising a free pest trapping workshop in June to help those starting out or interested in upskilling.

“Knowing how to use the various traps to good effect and learning the best techniques to catch different pests – stoats, ferrets, weasels, possums, rats and feral cats – is key to successful trapping,” says John Hawley, who manages pest control at Marunui.

As kiwi extend their territory beyond Marunui there has been increasing interest by land owners on both sides of the Brynderwyns in protecting them.

“We are very heartened by the recent formation of a group in the Waipu-Langs Beach area with the express aim of eradicating predators,” says John. “At a well attended meeting at the Waipu Surf Lifesaving Club in mid-April it was evident that many locals were already trapping while others were keen to learn how it should be done.”

At the June workshop there will be two professional trappers, Todd Hamilton and Glen Coulston, giving advice and practical demonstrations on the range of traps available, how to use them safely and effectively, where to put them and what baits to use.

Northland Regional Council, which offers assistance with the provision of traps and bait, will be represented and Ngaire Tyson, Kiwi Coast co-ordinator, will also be present.

With a previous workshop held in 2015 attended by some 40 people, the June event is likely to attract similar numbers.

“If you care about the protection of kiwi and other bird life, dislike rats, have lost chickens to stoats or have possums stripping your bush, then this is your chance to learn how to turn things around,” says John. “If enough people combine forces to control predators we can restore habitats and help kiwi survive and thrive in the Brynderwyns, and potentially in our back yards.”

n Pest trapping workshop, Sunday June 18, 1.30-4.30pm, Domain Hall, Moir Street, Mangawhai. To register contact John Hawley by June 12 at john.hawley@xtra.co.nz, 09 376 4069 or 027 262 7904.

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