Free trapping workshop to help protect kiwi
The survival of kiwi and their chicks in the Brynderwyns depends on effective trapping and the elimination of predators, particularly stoats and feral cats.
As kiwi extend their territories beyond Marunui Conservation, an intensively trapped area where they were released between 2013 and 2015, it is vital that predator control is undertaken in the wider area to help them survive.
To this end Piroa-Brynderwyns Landcare, under the umbrella of Kiwi Coast, is organising a free pest trapping workshop for those just starting out and for those already active and wanting to upskill.
Kiwi Coast is a collaborative initiative linking 120 community-led conservation projects along the east coast, from Pukenui in the north to Mangawhai in the south. Its vision is to restore native forest health, help native wildlife thrive and increase Northland’s kiwi numbers.
Todd Hamilton, a professional trapper and Backyard Kiwi Project Manager at Whangarei Heads, will give advice and practical demonstrations. He will cover the range of traps available for stoats, ferrets, weasels, feral cats, possums and rats, how to use them safely and effectively, where to put them and what baits to use.
Steve Henderson, Biosecurity Officer from the Regional Council, will also be on hand to advise on the support Council makes available.
Information on pest plants affecting the area and opportunities to help control or remove them will be provided by Weed Action Coordinator, Nancy Chaves.
Peter Hunt works with the Waipu Kiwis trapping group and together with Ann Neill co-chairs Piroa-Brynderwyns Landcare.
“We are keen to involve as many people as possible in assisting kiwi recovery in our project area,” he says. “Kiwi chicks are mainly killed by stoats and feral cats so eliminating these predators is a key focus.”
In the year to date volunteer groups and professional trappers in 17 projects surrounding Marunui trapped or otherwise removed 114 stoats, 7 ferrets, 27 feral cats, 65 weasels, well over 2000 possums and 962 rats.
John Hawley of Marunui Conservation reported their catch from January 2018 to date, combined with its surrounding Ring of Steel traps, totalled 77 stoats, 23 feral cats, 2 ferrets, 130 weasels and hundreds of possums and rats.
“These numbers show how many predators are out there. The workshop last year was oversubscribed so we encourage those keen to help protect kiwi and other native wildlife to register promptly.”