Trapping project now able to begin | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Predatory pests may be about to become a thing of the past in Kaikorai Valley.

Aroha Kaikorai Valley Trust trustee Paul Southworth said the trust received about $19,000 from the Otago Regional Council EcoFund in July last year to develop a predator trapping network for residential properties in Kaikorai Valley.

He said the project had also received support from various businesses around the city.

After a lot of “behind the scenes” preparation work and interference from the Covid-19 pandemic, the trust was finally able to officially launch its predator eradication project yesterday.

Mr Southworth said the trust was now “rounding up” volunteers to help get predator traps on the ground, far and wide across the valley.

“The targets are possums, stoats, rats, mice and hedgehogs,” he said.

They were all known to eat eggs and baby birds in New Zealand, and possums were devastating to native trees, he said.

The number of pests in the valley was a major challenge.

Rats were the main problem. The Kaikorai Stream provided a runway for rats to move up the valley from Green Island.

Most valley property owners complained of the prolific number of rats in the area, which would take over any building in the valley, given half a chance.

“If we control the predators, that means the native birds are going to flourish, and with the planting projects we have planned, they’ll have more chance of surviving in the valley.

“The planting will also help improve the water quality in the Kaikorai Stream.”

Trapping was a better way of dealing with pests than poison, Mr Southworth said.

Trapping meant there would be no concerns about secondary poisoning of the stream, or whether a pet cat would get sick after eating a poisoned rodent.

Modern traps were targeted, reliable and safe for non-target species.

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