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Neighbourhood nasties no more!

MEDIA RELEASE

21 January 2004

Neighbourhood nasties no more!

Auckland City is launching a new urban pest control programme to protect parks and wildlife.

The programme, due to start in February, involves trapping rats and possums in selected natural bush areas in an effort to form safe havens for native birds and insects.

It will begin with a pilot programme that involves volunteers from the community monitoring and trapping rodents and possums in five Auckland City parks.

Auckland City’s parks volunteer programme co-ordinator, David Bowden, says the pilot programme is a significant step in the battle to protect our natural heritage.

“We invest a lot of time in planting native trees and removing weeds, but we also need to address the destructive impact of possums and rodents on native plants and animals,” says Mr Bowden.

“Auckland City has some rich natural areas which require greater protection such as coastal forest, wetlands and lava flow forest.”

Community volunteers will work on a roster system where each person is responsible for checking and monitoring pests once or twice a month. It is a great opportunity to learn about the impact that pests have on plants, insects and bird life, and to meet other volunteers.

An important objective is to achieve a noticeable increase in bird life around the city or in close proximity to natural bush areas.

The five parks to be piloted this year include Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve, Waikowhai Reserve, Avondale South Domain, Kurt Brehmer Walkway and St Johns Bush Reserve.

If the programme is successful it could be expanded to include other Auckland City parks.

For more information about volunteering for the programme, call (09) 379 2020 or visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz.

Ends

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