Many of you may be wondering what you can and can’t do to protect our native wildlife throughout the lockdown period. So we thought we would summarise this for you.
For up to date information on the COVID-19 response see the Government website.
If you are involved in backyard or community trapping while NZ is at Alert Level 4, you:
- can maintain trap or bait lines on your property (while staying within your household bubble). Make sure you wear gloves when handling traps and wash your hands afterwards.
- can get fresh air and exercise by going on walks and runs in your neighbourhood. These must start and end at your home and you need to maintain your 2 metre bubble the whole time.
- need to be careful of high touch areas (like handrails or gates) and avoid them if possible.
- cannot check traps or bait lines on public land — this takes more time than a simple walk and will increase the likelihood of you coming into contact with other people. There is also a risk of injury which would require other people to help you and the risk handling shared equipment could lead to COVID-19 transmission.
- cannot drive anywhere to go for a walk, check traps or plant trees etc.
The rule of thumb is:
- if your trap or trap line is on your property you can check it (and please do!)
- if your trap or trap line is not on your property you cannot check it.
We are set up to work remotely from our office, however, our online shop is closed during the lock-down.
The Department of Conservation has halted all biodiversity work during this time. All DOC facilities and offices are closed, and tracks and national parks are out of bounds unless they are right by your home. They have arrangements in place for essential care services for threatened native species including kākāpō, and other sanctuaries. Council staff throughout the country are also doing the same.
Ecological sanctuaries are continuing essential work but are closed to the public. This may include pest proof fence checking, wildlife supplementary feeding and critical animal pest control functions.
We want to acknowledge all of you for your efforts to restore our native wildlife — the collective effort from everyone is staggering, however, we need to put the health and wellbeing of ourselves first. Kia kaha NZ!