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Commitment to predator control at Wharekopae

Monday 19 December, 2022

As the Wharekopae project enters its final year under Freshwater Improvement funding the community is looking towards the next stage of the project.

More than 1 million dollars has been spent on farm mitigations to enhance water quality in jointly funded projects by local landowners.

The next stage is to intensify riparian planting. This further improves biodiversity values in this catchment, with improved pest control a key area to success.

In a recent workshop hosted by Landcare’s Sam Gibson, the community came together to discuss their goals and aspirations for biodiversity in the catchment.

Of key desire was the return of native bird species, including Whio (blue duck) and Kiwi, which previously existed in the catchment. Geckos, dabchicks, pekapeka/longtailed bats and kākahi (freshwater mussels) are established in the catchment, however, are also at risk without appropriate predator control.

The workshop was also a good overview into the types of traps best suited to the landscape. More work will be done with keen landowners next year to design trap lines best suited to their individual farm, with availability to check and clear.

Clean kill options are best for trap lines not frequently checked whereas other options such as DOC250’s need to be reset again after a catch. Key pests and their unique predative characteristics were also discussed – including stoats, ferrets, possum and feral cats.

More work is underway by local landowners to realise this next phase for the catchment.

With a truly unique landscape, inclusive of the world-famous Rere Rockslide, Eastwood Hill Arboretum, protected QEII blocks, extensive waterways, and a number of well-established local farms keen to further improve the Wharekopae catchment’s biodiversity.