Small-scale community-led conservation initiatives are essential for achieving Piroa Brynderwyns Landcare (PBL) group’s vision to see and hear kiwi throughout Piroa.
Landholders are helping to make this vision a reality by taking an active role in pest control in the region (and making friends along the way!).
For Innes and Tania Anderson, and Jim Leslie, the choice to become involved with PBL was driven by their passion for New Zealand’s native birdlife and growing interest in kiwi regeneration.
The heavy workloads and busy schedules of many farmers and large landholders often hinders the success of pest control operations. These time constraints are no different for Innes and Tania. However, support from neighbour, and Rookie Trapper of the Year 2020 winner Jim, has helped ensure consistency across the teams’ trapping lines, which they all say is the key to success.
To keep track of Jim’s trapping efforts, Tania uses the Trap.nz app and website to record the number of pests that have been removed from the property. So far they have caught 1050 possums, 103 rats, 21 stoats, 11 feral cats and 7 weasels.
Connecting with PBL and like-minded people has been one of the most important steps in Innes, Tania and Jim’s pest control journey. The partnership between neighbours has helped to boost community spirit, as well as pride and ownership over the initiative.
Innes and Jim say knowing where to start is often the most difficult piece of the pest control puzzle and encourage people to remember that conservation efforts don’t have to be big or overly complex. They suggest starting with getting dogs kiwi aversion trained. Innes and Tania do kiwi aversion training annually with their farm dogs, as dogs are one of the largest threats to kiwi regeneration in the Brynderwyns.
Contacting local pest control organisations is also a great way to learn more about the threats in the region, or even getting involved in a community trapping day. As Jim says: “Pest control is good for the soul.”
Recently Tania, Innes and Jim hosted a workshop for Baldrock Road landowners to learn how to identify kiwi calls and take part in the annual kiwi listening programme. A new listening station was set up on the Anderson’s farm and amazingly kiwi were heard.
“That first official count gave us goose bumps, realising the work and effort is so worth it," says Tania.
Thanks to funding support from Northland Regional Council, Piroa Brynderwyns Landcare group has been able to work with landowners, professional and volunteer trappers to install a total of 1250 traps across the Brynderwyn range.
n For more information or to get involved contact Graeme Giles 021 118 4816 or Peter Hunt 021 666 779 to find out what is happening in the area.
“Pest control is good for the soul.”
- Jim Leslie