What’s the difference between community trapping groups and the Predator Free Wellington project?
Community trapping groups provide free traps for people to use in their backyards. There is one for every suburb (or a group of neighbouring suburbs) across Wellington. They are independent and run by volunteers. Predator Free Wellington (PFW) is the organisation that works alongside these groups carrying out the formal eradication. This involves overlaying an intensive network of traps, bait stations and monitoring devices across the project area, taking a phase by phase approach. Devices installed as part of the formal eradication are free and fully serviced by the Predator Free Wellington team. Becoming predator free is a team effort, community trapping is vital for getting rat populations to a suppression level and once the formal eradication is underway, every trap counts and could catch the last rat. Ki te kāpuia e kore e whati - we succeed together!
We already have a trap, why do we need a bait station or trap from Predator Free Wellington?
To get the rat numbers to zero the PFW team needs to place bait stations on a 50m x 50m grid and traps on 100m x 100m grid across the project area as this density ensures that a rat comes across one of these devices within its home range. Before installing this network of devices, the PFW team will ask for permission to place a device on your property and check it regularly, and this free service is conducted with the utmost respect for your privacy and safety. If you already have a trap, please keep using this in addition to the PFW traps and bait stations, as it only strengthens the eradication network.
I have rats in my backyard, what can I do?
If you are noticing rats in your backyard or local area and you don’t already have your own backyard trap, you can get one for free (or koha) from your local community trapping group. Find your local group here - www.pwf.org.nz/get-involved/. If you live in our phase 2 eradication zone please also sign up for one of our devices, www.pfw.org.nz/island-bay-to-cbd. This area includes Kilbirnie around to Ōwhiro Bay and up through to the CBD. We need 7,500 households to sign up for the project before we can start installing and servicing devices in 2022.
There are no rats here, why do I need one of these traps or bait stations?
The community trapping groups across Wellington are already doing a fantastic job of getting the rat numbers down, in fact, the eight trapping groups in our phase 2 area have already caught 20,000 rats which is why you may not be seeing so many around. However, the goal to get every last rat, possum, stoat and weasel in Wellington is ambitious and relies not only on being able to install the formal network of devices but on every backyard trap across Wellington.
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