The Government has granted a Wellington community group nearly $35,000 to help it deal with predators, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry and Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.

The grant, provided through the Community Environment Fund, is for the Mainland Island Restoration Operation (MIRO) to run an Educating Residents About Trapping project.

“This is the sort of collaboration that makes a meaningful contribution towards achieving our goal to be Predator Free by 2050. It will help create a haven for wildlife in the Eastbourne area and brings predator control into the town centre,” Ms Barry says.

“The purpose of MIRO’s three-year project is to engage and educate the local Eastbourne and the Eastern Bays communities about the importance of eradicating predators that decimate our native flora and fauna.

“This will be achieved through an education campaign combined with a trap loan/training scheme, including local schools through existing Enviroschools programmes”.

Two public meetings will be held each year along with social media campaigns to publicise the importance of urban trapping and the need for a predator-free forest and foreshore.

MIRO’s target is for one fifth of households in Eastbourne and the Eastern Bays to be actively engaged in trapping rats on their properties.

MIRO will also work with Hutt City Council to control the hedgehog, rat and stoat population on the Eastbourne and Bays foreshore so that vulnerable bird species, such as banded dotterel, can successfully breed. The Hutt City Council is contributing $9,000 towards 150 traps for the project.

“The project's long-term aim is to turn these urban trappers into the next cohort of MIRO volunteers to undertake intensive rat trapping and other environmental work, increasing recruitment from five to fifteen capable people each year,” Mr Simpson says.

“This project shows amazing commitment by MIRO volunteers to contribute to our vision of a predator-free New Zealand. I wish them every success with involving more local people in their projects over the next three years and beyond.”


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