In her element: Southern Lakes Sanctuary Whakatipu Hub coordinator Bonnie Wilkins sets a trap

A new community group’s joining the fight against pests and predators, recruiting ordinary people to do extra ordinary work for the environment.

Quail Rise Backyard Trappers is the newest team under the Whakatipu Wildlife Trust umbrella working to protect native animals and plants, with a focus on defending the Shotover River’s wildlife.

It’s providing the trust’s 72nd trap line — a massive jump from the original seven when it first formed in 2017 — thanks to residents coming together to lay traps around the farmland outlining the subdivision.

Trust executive officer Joanne Conroy says the addition of the Quail Rise group is important for cutting off pests’ easy access to the river, a hub for biodiversity.

It’s recently won funding through the Predator Free Backyard Community Programme and is now waiting on the arrival of DOC200 traps to
go in the backyards of, currently, five volunteers.

They’ll catch mustelids including rats, ferrets and stoats, and since volunteers were also keen on possum traps, they’ve managed to get their hands on some through Forest and Bird.v

It’ll add to existing efforts around the Whakatipu — the wildlife trust’s now up to about 3500 traps and counting, compared to 421 about six years ago.

Conroy’s on the hunt for more volunteers and encourages any Quail Rise residents interested to email them via [email protected].

[email protected]

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