Inmates help conservation effort in Rotorua communities

Tatou Pounamu purchased the traps from the Good to grow project – a partnership between the Department of Conservation and the Department of Corrections.

Tatou Pounamu – Predator Free representative Te Pae Akurangi-Fitzell says the group is looking forward to using the trap boxes to support the aspirations of Tatou Pounamu” says.

“Our aim is to have every household from the Puarenga Stream to the Waiohewa Stream trapping rats and other pests to become a predator free community.

“The new trap boxes will be used to to improve the conservation values in the Hannah’s Bay Recreation Reserve. By trapping predators, we can enhance the biodiversity values within the wetland area and hopefully support Mokoia Island being a pest-free island too.”

Tatou Pounamu is a collective of iwi, government agencies and community groups working to make the Eastside community a ‘safe haven’.

“We believe that a healthy whanau and healthy environment are one and the same. Getting rid of predators and cleaning up the whenua and waterways is a great start to connect out community to some of our beautiful taonga,” Akurangi-Fitzell says.

Within 50 days of trapping, the volunteers removed 25 rats, 10 mice and two stoats from the area.

“It’s been said that one rat can destroy 50 native birds in its lifetime so we’ve already saved 1250 native birds. With a bit of support from the community, we can have a really big impact and we’ll see more birds in our backyards.”

Volunteers wanting to support Tatou Pounamu – Predator Free can contact them using the email below. The group meet weekly to maintain the pest control network.

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