Preying on Pests

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.

raglan nz environment conservation karioi maunga ki te moana trap line pest predators eradicate stoat

When Pakeha ‘Europeans’ arrived they brought with them domesticated livestock such as pigs, cattle and sheep. Once a delicacy, kiore fell out of favour.

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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.

trap trapping pests eradication karioi raglan trapline

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.

 

Mountain to the sea

Raglan is a global icon for environmental conservation and sustainability. Many of the residents volunteer in organisations that support the eco ethos of Whainagaroa.

Seeing a request on Facebook for volunteers to attend a trap building session I quickly jumped at the opportunity to join Karioi Maunga ki te Moana ‘From Mount Karioi to the Sea’. Being a wiz on the staple gun my efforts were put to good use!

Karioi Maunga ki te moana raglan trap building line predator pest eradicate

Karioi Maunga ki te Moana work to restore biodiversity from the mountain to the sea. They have a successful seabird monitoring program which identifies breeding sites of endangered native species such as the Grey Petrel Oi and conduct predator control in those areas.

Their predator control programme is extensive, managing stoat control over 2,000 hectares with more than 45km of trapping lines.

They encourage community involvement and provide advice, training and traps to landowners through their Backyard Programme.

The Karioi project provides educational programmes for adults and children. Activities include trap-checking, monitoring trap lines, workshops, community events and camps. Karioi Kids and Karioi Rangers is offered to local schools.

Their vision is that through the Karioi project people will develop an enhanced curiosity of the natural world and a love for nature.

Karioi Maunga ki te Moana

 

Some of the other Raglan initiatives include:

Whainagaroa Environment Centre are a team of dedicated individuals passionate about environmental education and building a sustainable community. They deliver education programmes, workshops and raise awareness about environmental issues.

Bag It Raglan are working towards Raglan being a plastic bag free town by 2019. They encourage business owners and residents to use reusable shopping bags. A group of volunteers meet each week to make a supply of bag using recycled fabric!

Xtreme Zero Wastes aim is for the community to eliminate waste to the landfill by 2020. With the help of volunteers approximately 75% of waste is being diverted to other uses. The Raglan Resource Recovery Centre is an inspirational and educational place to visit.

Permaculture  courses and workshops can be found at Solscape, where sustainability and holistic living is valued. Visitors stay in eco accommodation, experiencing a plant-based eco-cusine while attending their classes.

KASM  are Kiwis Against Seabed Mining. They are a community based action group who strongly oppose any non-essential seabed mining. Volunteers work to raise awareness of the prospecting permits being issued by our government, allowing resources such as iron to be mined. They aim to protect and preserve marine and coastal environments for future generations.

 

 

 

 

Constantly cleaning up 

As a mother of four, I realise that I will never have the entire house tidy at the same time. I gave up on that a child ago. While I wiz around upstairs, I hear the familiar sound coming from downstairs, of the Lego box being tipped out and the dog chewing on some poor helpless barbie, who had been left on the floor. Meanwhile there’s a mound of clean washing on my bed that will get pushed onto the floor when it’s time for bed, only to be chucked back on in the morning. 

8.40am! Time for school! I run out the door, shutting the mess behind. 

But today I started a new venture. To Keep Tairua Tidy. I got rid of the kids to school and Preschool, then parked my car just out of Tairua. Geared with my fluro vest, gloves and black sacks I headed off for a walk. Im such a geek.  Not quite sure why I’m borthering. Surely there’s someone I can call to report the state of our highway? Anyways, off I go, looking like I’m serving Community Service for some crime I’ve committed. 

I’m just tired of driving past the countless beer bottles, energy drink cans, Mc Donald wrappers and cigarette packets. New Zealand’s Coast is amazing. We have thousands of tourists that visit every year. They probably contribute to this mess too. But it’s our back yard. We need to take Ownership of it and become its guardians. We are capable of doing it. If everyone pitches in its just a small job. I’ll be back out there in a couple if days to finish the stretch of highway I started. I walked for 1 1/2hrs and collected 4 bags of rubbish. I didn’t think there would be so much, so ran out of bags! 

To dump the bags at the local tip cost me $3.20. That’s 80c a bag. 

I hope this Initiative is contagious ; ) 

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