Posted: 13 May 2005
Free possum traps for 120 lucky Whāngārei property owners
More than $4000 worth of Timms possum traps are to given away free to dozens of property owners in a bid to better protect about 2000 hectares of native bush on the western edge of Whāngārei City.
The Northland Regional and Whāngārei District Councils, together with the Department of Conservation, are undertaking a comprehensive pest control programme in the Pukenui Forest and Coronation Scenic Reserve.
Regional Council Biosecurity Team Leader Matthew Hall says extensive areas of the forest and reserve, as well as several hundred hectares of private land, have already been treated for possums within the past year by contractors.
Officials estimate that to date the control operation has removed 80 to 90 percent of the tens of thousands of possums that had been living in the area.
In a bid to ensure possum numbers remain low, the two Councils will over the next few weeks give away about 120 Timms traps – worth about $36 each – to landowners whose properties are on the boundary of the Western Hills.
Mr Hall says the target area stretches from the Whāngārei Quarry Gardens, along Western Hills Drive and through to Maunu and the giveaway is limited to one trap per property.
He says affected property owners will over the next few days receive a letter advising them they are eligible for a free trap. Traps can be collected from the Regional Council’s Water St, Whangarei, offices by Friday 1 July this year; however, the original advisory letter must be presented as proof of eligibility.
Mr Hall says the distinctive yellow Timms traps are widely used in urban environments around New Zealand and come with instructions for safe use to protect pets.
“Regional Council Pest Management staff can also provide tips on appropriate bait and advice on appropriate disposal of trapped possums.”