The good news is that if you have a trap at home, you can still check it, experiment with bait types and catch what you can! Or if you have a trap but it’s sitting unused in the shed, then time to dust it off and get it up and running. If you don’t have a trap, how about building your own tunnel box with that wood lying around in your backyard?
Predator Free NZ has some great resources available online to get to grips with predator control, so check it out.
If you have a backyard trap or are part of a trapping group then make sure you are on the PFH Predator Trapping Live Map. See link above. Add your Household if you have a backyard trap. It’s a great way to record your catches and see how many other amazing community members are involved. Note – website is best viewed on Desktop, Laptop or tablet rather than Mobile phone.
Hello! My name is Karen Barlow and I live in Cambridge with my husband and two children. We moved to the mighty Waikato about 12 years ago and now can’t imagine living anywhere else. I have worked for DoC at Pukaha doing Species Management (captive breeding and release programmes, avian husbandry and education & advocacy) and also in the Education sector (Biology & Science). I’m excited to ‘sink my teeth’ (bad pun) into Predator Control in Hamilton and Cambridge and make a difference to native species re-population and forest regeneration.
This newly created role is funded from the Environmental Initiatives Fund by the Waikato Regional Council. I’ll be working with both Predator Free Hamilton and Predator Free Cambridge to control primarily rats but also possums. It will entail liaising with volunteer groups, government departments and other interested parties to achieve this goal. There is some great work that is currently being done and the aim is to expand those efforts. I’ll be managing the Predator Free Hamilton website and social media sites to update progress and provide support. I will be available at the Go Eco premises in Frankton Hamilton every Wednesday to dispense traps and information or you can contact me via email email@example.com or phone 027 240 6879.
The Glenview Group got off to a flying start at its launch in the Glenview Community Centre on Wednesday 11 September. John Innes (Landcare Research) spoke on predators in the urban context – what they are, what they do – and showed some rather distressing videos of rats and possums predating eggs and young chicks. The Wayne Green from DOC showed us what we can do about it, with trap demonstrations and guidance on where to set and how to maintain traps for the different predators. Then we distributed traps, and there’s the beginnings of a strong network in the block around Te Anau Park. Exciting times!
On 12 February Predator-Free Hamilton (PFH) Trust members Gwyneth Verkerk and Kemble Pudney gave a presentation on Predator-Free NZ, PFH, reasons for predator control and identifying common pests, trapping methods and how to get involved. It was very interesting to hear the range of environmental activities that club members are involved in and it brought home to us the number of different perspectives there are on predator control – but all with the same end in mind.
In the six months late June to know I have caught 16 rats using Victor-type traps and trapping tunnels – 10 Norway and 6 ship. The species balance is probably swayed by having a trap at the neighbour’s compost, where she had a few Norways. Otherwise the captures have all been in our gully. I am maintaining six traps in all but only four have actually caught anything. In the same period I have detected only mice and insects via tracking tunnels and one chew on a card – possum. I have caught one possum but there is still another about. I conclude that small scale monitoring when overall numbers are low is not all that useful, but that it’s definitely possible to trap rats with the old technology.
On 6 October Predator-Free Hamilton hosted a weel attended presentation from Kelvin Hastie, NEXT Predator-Free CHampion, at Hamilton Gardens. His talk and the Q & A session was videoed and can be viewed here (click on the link then again on the dropdown that will appear):