This week a group of Rotarians from the Pakuranga Tamaki River Auxiliary got to work labelling and numbering 400 rat, possum and stoat traps.
 
The working bee is a culmination of 12 months work by Pakuranga Rotary and several other organisations in the area, to increase native bird numbers across the Howick Ward.
 
Rotarian Sylvie Wilkinson says “It is so encouraging to see Lions, Friends of Mangemangeroa,  Howick, Half Moon Bay and Somerville Rotary Clubs joining together working towards a common goal to preserve precious wildlife for future generations.” Together they have established a Trap Library, the first in the area.
 
The team have had considerable assistance from local Enviro Schools, Bio Security and Pest Free Auckland. The Howick Local Board supplied funding for the traps, and their Pest Free Howick Coordinator Lorelle Stranaghan has provided valuable knowledge and encouragement.
 
 The warm autumn and abundance of feed has produced large numbers of rats in the area which, if left uncontrolled, will feed on birds’ eggs and chicks, once spring arrives.
Sylvie’s trap, set in her own Pakuranga garden, has caught 13 rats since September last year… a clear indication that these predators are unseen but certainly active.
 
The traps are now available for loan for people living in the Howick Ward and an electronic registering system has been set up to monitor not only who has the traps, but to record catches.      
 
Anyone interested in managing a trap or assisting in another way should email Joe on   traplibraryeastauckland@gmail.com
 
Traps will be available at the Howick Eco Day, Picton Street on Saturday the 29 of June, from 9 am.