Predator trapping in New Zealand
Predators such as stoats, rats, ferrets and possums pose huge threats to native, endemic and threatened species throughout New Zealand.
As many as 27 kiwis are killed by predators every single week, and in areas where predator control is not in place, 95 per cent of kiwi will die before reaching breeding age (compared with 50-60 per cent in controlled areas).
In order to protect the kiwi and countless other species in New Zealand, predator trapping is a vital key. This is the process of trapping pests in order to remove them from the environment, and it is carried out by the Department of Conservation, by interested community groups, and even by homeowners throughout New Zealand.
One of New Zealand’s most audacious goals is to create a predator-free environment throughout the country by 2050. If we are to reach this goal and protect our most threatened species, trapping will play a huge role in this endeavour.
How it works
The trap and the bait will often depend on the predator itself. For example, Predator Free New Zealand offers guides for catching rats, stoats, ferrets and possums, including which traps are best for each case. The Department of Conservation also offers multiple YouTube videos on how to set traps.
While some areas focus on removing as many predators as possible, others keep predators out completely. For example, the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society (TOSSI) location is a favourite spot for our New Zealand eco tours, as this is one of the few places where we can see kiwis thriving in the wild on our Tawharanui nature tours.
If you’d like to get involved, take a look at the community map by Predator Free NZ to join the work of local groups and learn more about trapping.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist