DOC concessionaires to run revolutionary self-setting traps
DOC concessionaires to run revolutionary self-setting traps in Whirinaki Forest
For the first time in NZ, three Department of Conservation concessionaires have joined forces to operate 40 revolutionary Goodnature self-setting rat and stoat traps in Whirinaki Forest.
The three tourism businesses – Foris Eco-tours, Te Urewera Treks and Nature Connection – have been awarded a grant from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's environmental enhancement fund to purchase the new traps, made in NZ by Goodnature.
“This is our way of complementing and strengthening DOC’s pest management work in the Whirinaki Forest and helping protect the internationally - significant area in which we operate,” explains Tom Lynch from Foris Eco-tours, which offers guided walks and rafting trips in the area.
“Whirinaki Forest has one of the largest remaining populations of kaka, as well as kiwi, whio/blue duck and kakariki. As tourism businesses operating in the forest, we wanted to do something to help DOC protect these taonga for everyone,” says Tom.
“Stoats are the number one predator of kaka and kiwi in NZ – of the 5000 kaka left, only 1000 are female because the nesting females are killed by stoats as they sit on their nests. To put in perspective how rare kaka are, according to DOC’s estimates, there are 13 kiwi for every kaka,” says Tom.
The A24 rat/stoat Goodnature traps are powered by a CO2 cartridge that resets the trap after each kill and can humanely kill up to 24 animals before needing to be reset. The traps have long-life baits, are easy to service and only need to be tended every few months. DOC is also trialling the traps around the country. “It is great to see tourism operators around New Zealand getting involved in biodiversity protection” says Stu Barr from Goodnature.