Experts to help train trappers

ZIP’s Al Bramley and principal engineer John Wilks installing a prototype automated detection device for rats. Photo: Rory Harnden/Ink Digital.

Reinforcements have been called in to help slash Marlborough’s pest population.

Department of Conservation (DOC) staff have organised experts to hold a Top of the South trapping workshop.

The workshop, held in Picton on 22 September, will highlight a range of topics from new techniques to pest behaviour.

There will also be a chance for people to get some hands-on experience.

DOC ranger Wendy Sullivan says the workshops are geared towards all levels of trappers.

“Whether you are part of a community group, run your own trapline or have a trap in your garden, you will go away with a better understanding of pest behaviour, best practice trapping techniques and monitoring success,” she says.

Alongside Picton Dawn Chorus and Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, DOC have arranged for special speakers.

Zero Invasion Predators (ZIP) operations director Duncan Kay is involved with research and development into trapping tools and techniques.

“Their approach to research and predator control is challenging our current mindset and helping grow our predator control ‘toolbox’ unlike we have seen before,” says Wendy.

Participants then have the choice of attending one of two sessions.

The back to basics session will cover how to trap to successfully.

This will be followed by a hands-on round-robin session on rat/mustelid identification, calibration and maintenance of traps, and an in-depth look at using ‘DOC series’ and ‘Good Nature’ traps.

The second session is geared towards community groups and larger trapping programmes.

DOC expert Phil Clerke will join Wildlife Management International Ltd’s Nikki McArthur to share tips on how to set up an effective monitoring regime.

“There will be an optional afternoon field trip to Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary for workshop participants.

With over 70 volunteers and 250 members, Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary is a great example of seeing community conservation in action,” Wendy says.

Boat transport is subsidised at $10 per person. Bookings for both the workshop and optional field trip are essential.

Please RSVP to Wendy at [email protected] by 18 September.

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