Forest conservation project: Phase 4
The goal of this phase was to trap the remainder of the 250ha section of forest in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve as well as reset, re-gas and rebait the traps that were all currently in the forest. It was going to be a big job!
Early in the morning 12 Canopy Tours team members packed their bags full of traps, baits and gas canisters ready for the big day ahead. They drove out to the forest and got started installing and setting the 90 new Goodnature A24 rat traps and 45 new Goodnature A12 possum traps.
Photo: Guides full their packs with Goodnature traps ready to install throughout the forest.
Once the new traps were installed the team split up and set to work on the existing network. The team checked the traps, rebaited, reset and re-gassed almost 1000 automated and manual traps that were in the forest.
On completion of Phase 4 of the forest conservation project the entire southern side of the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve is now under pest control. This is about 250 hectares, and area equivalent to 250 rugby fields!
During Phase one, two and three of the forest conservation project we collected the dead pests after the traps had been live for a couple of nights. This was to count the pests we had removed and give us an idea of the forest health. We had seen a large reduction in the number of pests in the forest so far. We decided not to do this for phase 4 of the forest conservation project. We could begin to gauge the health of the forest by the heath of the trees and the wildlife that was calling the forest home. Bird life is increasing and the insects and other native animals thriving. The forest conservation project has created a ‘safe zone’ for all these creatures, and we are loving seeing them and hearing the birds chorus getting louder every day.
Photo: Guide Cam installing a Goodnature trap as part of Phase 4 in the forest conservation project.
The focus our team is to now monitor the existing network and make sure that all of the traps are working. We will regularly change out baits and re-gas the traps. this will keep all of the traps active all of the time in the forest.
We are really happy with how the forest is now looking. Native birds and insects that we haven’t seen before are starting to appear in the forest. They are returning to this safe haven we have created for them, like it should be in every native forest in New Zealand.
Eventually we would like to give access to the public through walking trails. So, kiwis and visitors alike can see what ALL of our native New Zealand forest SHOULD look like. We hope that this will help people see that you can make a difference, that we can get our country pest free and allow our natives to thrive once more.
If you would like to learn more about trapping at home come visit us at Rotorua Canopy Tours!