An organisation is preparing a free pest trap rental in the Catlins area as part of biodiversity project.
Hokonui Runanga is undergoing a restoration project of the Catlins and one aspect is establishing an effective trapping network within the area to prevent re-invasion of pests into native forestry.
Owaka-based programme coordinator Emma Shanks said the project received $5000 from the Clutha District Council through their biodiversity fund to set up the trapping service.
‘‘We as an organisation hope to build a directory in the area, run workshops and provide the service to facilitate those in need who may be in the area, such as farmers, lifestyle blockers and more,’’ she said.
‘‘That’s why we’re setting up the rental service, so people can come along, have a look at traps and rent them for one month and up to three months if necessary.’’
The traps the service will have include cage traps, Doc 200 traps, A24 traps, gas-powered traps, possum traps and ‘‘F-Bomb’’ traps, all of which are Doc approved.
Mrs Shanks said although the idea was still teetering on the final stages, there were hopes to begin selling the traps at one point in the future as well.
‘‘We’ve got a huge diversity of habitats under threat and this is one of the ways to continue to monitor and reduce pests.’’
Populations of gecko, long tailed bats, breeding populations of rapoka/NZ sea lions, Kekeno/NZ fur seals and seabird species such as titi/muttonbird, hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins and korora/little blue penguins are all species Hokonui Runanga is looking to protect around the Catlins area, along with more animals.
The trapping service will help to control threats of ground-based possum and mustelid pests.
The restoration project is in an initial three-year period with the possibility of extension.
The trapping service will first run through the ‘‘Catlins Trap Library’’ Facebook page and people can message through the platform to get in touch and see about renting traps and more options will be available in future.