Lynmore School raises awareness of trapping

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Lynmore School, in Rotorua, received funding as part of our Kiwibank School programme. Students from Room 1A provided us an update of what they have been up to in the last wee while.

Students in the bush
Lynmore School students in Waitawa Bush. Image credit: Supplied

On the 1st of August, some students from Lynmore School in Room 1A decided to run a trapping information evening for the Lynmore Community.  Here is the story of our trapping journey and how it has led us to reaching out to our local community to spread the word!

Image of display
Information stand on protecting our native birds. Image credit: Supplied

Here at Lynmore School we are very lucky to have an area of native bush – Waitawa Bush.  Whilst working in area we noticed a lack of birdsong. Where were our native birds? We decided to do some research, and found out that native bird numbers were decreasing around NZ because of pests like possums, stoats, rats, and mice. We wanted to find out if we had pests in Waitawa Bush.

First of all, we set tracking tunnels, which are pads with ink on the middle of them, also where the bait sits. The pest walks on the ink, eats the bait, and walks off. This shows the pests tracks, so we know what pests are in Waitawa Bush! Once we knew what pests were in Waitawa Bush we could work out their habits and strategically set our trapping lines effectively. We have caught many rats, possums and mice.

With our new possum trap we have caught about 10 possums. We still haven’t caught any stoats but have had prints. We have also had some gecko prints in Waitawa bush, we checked these with DOC and they think they’re Forest Gecko prints which is really awesome. 

Community members get informed about trapping. Image credit: Supplied

Since we have been trapping, we have noticed a huge change! However, we realised that pests move freely in and out of the area and our efforts were not going to be enough to make lasting change. Together, as a class we decided that we wanted to raise awareness with the residents of Lynmore of the issue both locally and nationally, whilst gaining support for our Waitawa bush project.  We decided to run an information evening for our community.

We were delighted by the turn out we had on the evening. Around 45 FREE traps were gifted to visitors. They were also given a full predator experience through videos, talks and promotional material. Not to mention trap setting tutorials! We wanted the Lynmore community to get behind us, and they definitely did!