4th August 2022
Colin Kelly reports as follows:
The Kelvin Peninsula Pestbusters trapping team consists of five energetic and willing volunteer workers who between them manage 104 mostly box traps. We are lucky in the respect that most of our traps are beside the Lakes edge walking and biking track which stretches from the Hilton Hotel to our boundary with the neighbouring Jacks Points Pest group – which is a distance of 15 kms. Our trapline is divided into five sections and each trapline manager has about 20 plus traps each to service.
The district’s six-year trapping programme was started in May 2016 with 12 traps and now have a total pest kill to date of 1572. This includes nearly 600 possums 82 stoats,31 weasels, 23 ferrets and 436 rats’ other kills include hedgehogs and 43 feral cats. When we first started our project there were absolutely no small birds, no morning birdsong and very few of any of the larger birds like tuis and bellbirds. There is still a long way to go yet but it’s great to notice the recent build-up of the flocks of small birds and a much healthier population of the larger species. We are chuffed to be receiving lots of positive feedback from the locals on the recovery. It’s not as much fun these days rebaiting trap after trap that hasn’t caught anything – but we are constantly reminding each other this nil catch regime is the ultimate aim of our project.
Our outlook for the future has been greatly enhanced in recent weeks when we were loaned one automatic AT220 trap from the guys at Southern Lakes Sanctuaries for two months to trial. Our best catch was five possums in one night on one tree. The manufacturers of the trap suggest 3 monthly visits to the traps are adequate but it’s really hard to stay away – even for a few days – when there is so much happening out there. Our parent body, The Kelvin Peninsula Community Assn have given us permission to buy four of these traps for our own use.
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