Latest round of predator free communities announced

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  7. Latest round of predator free communities announced

We are pleased to announce the addition of another 11 communities to our Predator Free Community programme — taking the total number of communities we support to 66.

Bluff Hill Motupōhue Environment Trust (BHMET) host students at Te Rau Aroha Marae for trap building. Image credit: BHMET

The latest round of funding was highly competitive. The majority of applications were from well organised, highly motivated communities wanting to make a difference in their backyards.

Bluff Hill Motupohue Environment Trust

The Trust is aiming to have over 400 residents trapping in their backyards to compliment the great work already being carried out on Motupōhue (Bluff Hill) and the surrounding Awarua area. The Trust currently manages a network of over 1,400 pest control devices targeting mustelids, rats, possums and hedgehogs and feral cats protecting over 1,000ha of coastal habitat. The Trust is restoring the Mauri of Motupōhue a Taopuni (sacred site) recognised in the Ngai Tahu Deed of Settlement. 

Brighton Community Trapping Project

This is a new Dunedin group that would like to be responsible for increasing native wildlife in and around Brighton and foster a community spirit around this through predator control. They have a growing group of individuals excited to be involved and their plan will capitalise on the coastal boundary and primarily target properties bordering the council coastal land. The group will initially be targeting 150 households with the hope that more residents will want to be involved as time goes by.

Living Whenuapai

There are two villages in the area of Whenuapai Air Force Base with medium and high-density housing, Whenuapai Village and the recently developed Whenuapai settlement. The total land area for Whenuapai is around 1,400 hectares and the goal of this project is to drive the base pest population below 5%.

The Trust intends to engage the entire suburb with over 900 households making up the 1,400 ha. Stage one is from the water to Brigham Creek Road (836 ha) and stage two would take in the area from Brigham Creek to the Motorway (SHW16 and SHW18).

Predator Free Cambridge

Predator-Free Cambridge (PFC) was established in May 2017 and is supported by dedicated volunteers with trap lines maintained throughout the year. Their goal is one trap in every fifth residential property. Collectively this supports Maungatautari Ecological Island by providing predator free areas for birds to migrate to and from the Maunga.

Predator Free Hamilton

Predator Free Hamilton was established in March 2016 and currently protects existing natural reserve areas and urban areas adjacent to them. The group aims to mobilise urban residents in a suburb of Hamilton, to support the establishment of new community trapping groups and to expand existing ones.

Pest Free Maungawhau

Pest Free Maungawhau is a new neighbourhood group in Mt Eden, Auckland. Their goal is to significantly reduce pests in the area to enable the regeneration of native flora and fauna, especially bird life and increase invertebrates. Their plan is to engage with homeowners directly and to enlist the support of enthusiastic trappers who will be responsible for streets or particular areas within the suburb.

Predator Free Merivale – Ko te ata (Singing in the morning)

Predator Free Merivale is a newly formed group who want to allow the birds to return to the bush already present in their community. Their aim is to have 1 in 5 households with a trap in their backyard, mainly targeting rats.

Predator Free Pareraho 

Predator Free Pareraho is taking on backyard trapping around the suburban areas of Belmont and Kelson in Lower Hutt, Wellington. This complements the work already happening on the Western hills of Lower Hutt with predator free communities Tirohunga & Harbourview and Normandale.

Their backyard trapping efforts will sit alongside the broader efforts of the Pareraho Forest Trust. Their backyard predator free aspirations are to encourage local people to do their bit to look after the special fauna — the kererū that visit to breed over spring and summer, the local Wellington wētā and the small number of pōpokotea that reside in Pareraho Forest. This means the backyard trapping focus is on suppressing rat numbers to take the pressure off the native wildlife.

Somerfield/Lower Cashmere Predator Free

This is a newly formed group that borders Predator Free Cashmere.  They are aiming to have 100 households participate in the programme over the next year.

Takapuwahia Predator Free

Takapuwahia Predator Free is a new group at Takapuwahia Pa in Porirua City, located between Elsdon and Titahi Bay.

“Takapuwahia is our Pa and everyone who lives here are iwi. We are all whanau and have lived here for generations, so we are all invested in this space. We are right beneath Rangituhi Scenic Reserve and on the shore or Te Awarua o Porirua.”

Their aspirations are to have no rats and mice, so native bird and lizard populations grow through community members trapping in their backyards, planting more native trees and weeding out exotic plants that house rodents. Stream restoration will clean up these spaces so rodents don’t think it’s a space for them to live.

The Whau River Catchment Trust

As part of Pest Free Whau, the Whau River Catchment Trust are currently undertaking predator  control on parts of Rosebank Peninsula, an urban area in Avondale Auckland. Work has already started in the northern area of Rosebank Business District and this funding will support predator activities in the Avondale residential area to the south.   

More information