Native birds at risk from ongoing vandalism

23 April 2015

Traps set to catch predators and protect Wellington’s native birds are being deliberately vandalised.

Stoat in DOC 200 trap

Stoat in DOC 200 trap

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Over the past couple of months, volunteer group KATCH 22 have found some of their traps destroyed or tampered with. A trap on Wrights Hill was thrown into a stream with its mechanism stolen, another trap was vandalised in the same area, and in January a trap in Karori Park was smashed open.

“These acts of deliberate vandalism have a major impact on our predator control. Every time a trap is vandalised it's one less trap we can fund for placement elsewhere,” says Illona Keenan, Wellington City Council Biosecurity Technical Advisor.

“We’re also concerned about stolen mechanisms and what they are being used for as these traps are very powerful and when used incorrectly could seriously damage hands,” she says

“When these acts occur it is disheartening for our volunteers" says Florence Liger, volunteer coordinator,  KATCH 22 "as we are passionate and dedicated to protecting Karori’s environment and bird life from predators. Our goal is to create a continuous line of steel between Zealandia and Otari Wilton Bush and coordinate our operations around that area”.
 
The vandalism and theft have been reported to the Police and KATCH 22 is asking for the public’s help to identify people interfering with these traps. If you see people tampering with traps or if you find one of the trap mechanisms please inform the Karori Police station on 04-476 0330.
 
Background

KATCH 22 are a group of volunteers dedicated to protecting Wellington’s native birds. Their voluntary work is funded through a Wellington City Council Our Living City grant and their own fund raising activities.  Money raised covers the cost of traps, maintenance and bait.  
They maintain a network of stoat, rat and possum traps inside the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park, on Wrights Hill, along South Karori Road, in Karori Park and along the Skyline track.