Traplordz is the very cool name of a very new group in the Wellington backyard trapping network. Started by three good mates, Tait Burge, Hugo Reeve and Claudie Ramsden-Bradley, Traplordz was launched just a few weeks ago with the aim of engaging young people living in flats – students and others – in trapping pests and contributing to the Predator Free Wellington goal.
“Traplordz is a name relevant to youth,” Tait says. “We want to try and change the culture of conservation to include young people.”
Tait and his mates have some innovative ideas about how they’re going to get youth involved.
“A trap pack is given out free to students and in exchange they have to report their trap data each week to be eligible for prizes. We’re also planning to host social events to keep everyone aware of what to do.”
The free trap packs will contain a modified Victor rat trap, peanut butter for luring rats, pamphlets and stickers. Trapboxes may even be unique backyard art installations.
“We’re hoping to get local artists involved to put stencils on the traps,” Tait explains. “Our trap data will be loaded into TrapNZ and we’ve already had PhD students offering to help analyse data.”
The new group is working with Predator Free Wellington who are supplying traps and hope to also get sponsorship from a peanut butter manufacturer.
“I want to try and engage my generation and change trapping culture,” says Tait. “It all started when me and a couple of mates were living around the coast. We noticed the deteriorating coastline and while we couldn’t do anything about sand restoration, we did get involved in blue penguin stuff. That transformed into getting involved in trapping.”
Convincing students about the benefits of trapping is one of the key challenges for the Traplordz team.
“A lot of students don’t like killing things, so we’ll be explaining the benefits,” says Tait.
So far 20 flats have signed up to be Traplordz and the first lot of traps have just been given out.
“The flats are in different areas such as near Zealandia and Newtown, so we’re working with other groups. There are just the 3 of us and we work fulltime as well,” he says. “The project has been in the pipeline for a while,” he adds, “and now it’s all falling into place.”