Trapping team hunts out new recruits | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Nine recruits have joined the team trapping pests in the Croydon Bush Scenic Reserve.

About 20 people attended a workshop on Saturday at Dolamore Park, hosted by Taiao Hokonui Runanga and Predator Free Southland, to learn more about the work.

The workshop covered topics including pest behaviour, the problems pests caused and how to use and maintain a trap.

Hokonui Runanga Kaupapa Taiao Haumuri pest control co-ordinator Lois Bishop said the recruits, who signed on at the workshop, would relieve pressure on the small group of people checking the traps at present.

“[The] next step is to get them out on traplines with an experienced trapper two or three times until they become confident to go out by themselves.”

There were about 250 traps laid out in the reserve.

“Once we have more on board we can open up more lines in the project.”

Since 2009, Hokonui Tramping Club members have been checking traps set in the area and since 2019, the Jobs for Nature funding has paid for a team to lay more traps and check them.

There were now seven people involved in the programme.

Tramping club member Philip Garland said he had been involved in the project since it started.

“It gives me an excuse to get out of the house and into the bush.”

The birdsong had increased in that time, he said.

He would like to see the bush revert to the way it was when Captain Cook arrived in 1769.

“They reckon it was deafening, the birdsong.”

Workshop members Elaine Booker and Max Philpott, 16, said they were keen to be involved.

Ms Booker said it had been very informative learning about the pests.

“Where they like to live, what they like to eat.”

She was a “little bit scared” of the traps when the trapping mechanism was released.

“I don’t want my hand anywhere near there.”

Max said it had been interesting learning about the programme.

“I want to become a part of it.”

The group were not just trying to get rid of pests but make it possible for birds that were no longer found in the bush to return, he said.

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