When Maori ancestors arrived in New Zealand, kiore ‘rats’ came with them. Maori valued these rats as a food source. They built ingenious traps which they baited with kumura. When a kiore entered the opening its head slipped into a snare that tightened around its neck.
When Pakeha ‘Europeans’ arrived they brought with them domesticated livestock such as pigs, cattle and sheep. Once a delicacy, kiore fell out of favour.
Now days rodents and other animals such as possums, hedgehogs and stoats are considered pests as they compete with our native bird life for food and habitat. They also eat the eggs and young and attack the adults.
In Raglan Karioi Maunga te ki Moana are working to restore the biodiversity. One of the ways they do this is by monitoring over 800 traps deployed across Karioi Maunga and the Whangaroa coastline. It it through this organisation that we are fortunate enough to monitor 20 of these traps in a trap line surrounding Raglan Area School.
Karioi Maunga use the line to educate the school children, involving the students in trap setting, checking and monitoring. The information is recorded on trap.nz
This trap line gives me the opportunity to involve my children, ensuring they too grow up having respect for our environment and an awareness of conservation efforts necessary to protect vulnerable native species.