Pest Control Programme Educates Students

Pest Control Programme Educates Students

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Northland high school students recently had the
opportunity to participate in the ‘hands on’
Enviroschools Project Pest Control Programme.

The
two-day event held at Kiwi North in Whangarei, offered
students theory and practical sessions which looked into
animal pest biology and the devastating impact pests
continue to have on the environment.

A record 99,126
animal pests were trapped in Northland last year and on
average 1900 are trapped on the Kiwi Coast every
week.

Northland Regional Council (NRC) Education
Manager, Susan Karels said it was important for students to
remember pest animals such as possums were still living,
breathing animals deserving of a respectful and humane
death.

NRC Biosecurity team members shared ‘best
practice’ advice and taught trapping techniques targeting
possums, feral cats, mustelids and rats using a selection of
traps.

Tuition and kōrero with the students focused
on the importance of trap placements and setting raised
leg-hold traps to ensure non-target species like kiwi
aren’t caught.

The Enviroschools pest project meant
many of the students in attendance were able to receive NCEA
credits as part of their participation, not to mention an
insight into future career opportunities in pest control and
biosecurity.

NRC pest monitoring shows the hard work
of trappers and further education around pest management
through programmes like Enviroschools is achieving the
desired results, with the threatened status of Northland
brown kiwi downgraded to ‘conservation
dependent.’

The NRC investment to support various
pest control and biosecurity actions is an annual allocation
of around $11 million
dollars.

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