Bad sign for pests

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Trapping options .. Department of Conservation ranger Lyndon Slater demonstrating different types of traps at a trapping workshop in Waipara. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Despite rain all day, more than 50 locals and some from further afield, including Darfield and Christchurch, turned up to the Waipara Hall for the workshop hosted by a team from the Department of Conservation (DOC).

It began with presentations on the impact of introduced predators on native wildlife, and the biodiversity values to be found on Mt Cass and in the Tiromoana Reserve, where three species of moa once roamed.

Then, participants enjoyed a practical demonstration by local DOC rangers on the types of traps that can be used and how to use them, as well as the importance of animal welfare.

After a barbecue lunch, almost half the attendees opted to head to the Tiromoana Reserve on Mt Cass.

It was steep, slippery and still raining, but they managed to make a good start to the traplines and members of the community went back on Monday in even heavier rain to put extra traps out.

The group have started a Facebook page and have tentatively called themselves WETA (Waipara Environmental Trapping Association).

Waipara local and DOC threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki said she was chuffed with the turnout and enthusiasm of the local community to protect their native wildlife.

“I was so proud to see such a big group of people in our community who share a passion for doing their bit to protect our local environment.”

The Canterbury DOC Predator Free 2050 team is running a series of community workshops in partnership with local trapping groups throughout Canterbury.

To date, workshops have been held in Ashburton, Castle Hill and Waipara, with more planned for Oxford, Little River and the Port Hills.

The next workshop will be at the Ashley Gorge Reserve from 10am to 12pm on Saturday, May 26.