Public to play part in predator project

Rhys Millar
Rhys Millar
Dunedin communities will take charge of their own pest trapping as extensive predator-free works move into the suburbs and city.

On Wednesday, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced a $4.33million Government grant to start the five-year $15million Predator Free Dunedin project.

It will build on work of the Halo Project around Orokonui and efforts to rid possums from the peninsula.

It will also involve efforts being targeted more at the central city and surrounding suburbs with the new Urban Linkage project.

Residents can answer a survey on Predator Free Dunedin's website, which will gauge their interest in the project and gather their opinions on its tactics.

Once the community response is gathered, the group will use the information to determine the next step.

Predator Free Dunedin project manager Rhys Millar said this would involve education workshops and, eventually, the supplying of traps to the city's residents.

"We'll go out to the community and look for leaders who might wish to be local champions in their patch."

Neighbourhoods could then develop their own trapping regimes.

"Some will get stuck in and just want to lead the charge, we'll just do a bit of help. There will be others that need a bit more guidance."

In the central city the main pest problem was rats, he said.

The group would also look for volunteers to trap in council reserves.

Alongside this, the group would monitor catch and biodiversity data city-wide to see how successful the project was.

Predator Free Dunedin will not target cats and uses trapping methods which are low risk for the animals.

"Instead we'll focus on encouraging responsible cat ownership."

This included keeping them well fed and inside or within property boundaries as much as possible.

The project would also not involve controversial poison 1080.


Before you all enthusiastically volunteer for the mass killing of selected species, please ask yourself if the extermination of these animals is the best form of conservation?
Here are some quotes to help you decide.
“When you start with a necessary evil, and then over time the necessity passes away, what's left?”
― Matthew Scully
" The greatness of a Nation and it's moral progress can be juged by the way it's animals are treated"
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi
“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer
“Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification.”
― Farley Mowat