Community Trap Line : Barrytown Flats

From individual trapping efforts, it is known there is a high level of predator activity along the bush/scrub line of the road verge. In particular, stoats with their large territorial range use the road verge as a corridor. Rats at certain times do the same.

Stoat Carrying Baby Bird

This has inspired the establishment a community managed trapline - to control predators moving along SH6 and east-west movement between native bush and the coastal lowlands.

We aim to have a 18.5km stoat trapline along State Highway 6 from 17 Mile Bluff to Razorback Point with stoat/rat traps at 100m intervals. Trap placement is either in the bush/scrub line of the road margin or inside property boundaries as agreed with landowners/occupiers. No one will enter private property to check the traps unless specifically asked to do so by the landowner/occupier.

The project aims to help protect native wildlife in adjoining public conservation land, privately owned native bush, agricultural land and the coastal strip. Box traps with DOC150s are predominately used, however, for larger landowners and/or difficulty of access, some automatic self-setting traps are available.

The trapline is the backbone of a community-led stoat trap network. It will have the potential to reduce stoat numbers and thus protect the lowland terraces and help to stem the flow of stoats into adjoining conservation land. Our vision is that this project will be the seed for subsequent expansion north and south along the Coast Road (and minor roads/creeks running west to the coast) and develop into landscape scale predator control for mustelids, rats and possums. The trapline ties in with, and adds to, current trapping projects in the area, including trapping networks on private land, Barrytown Predator Free School, CVNZ Punakaiki trapline, Predator Free Punakaiki, and the 90km trapline on the new Paparoa Great Walk.

The Barrytown Flats with its bordering native bush, wetland areas and coastal strip are rich in native bird biodiversity, including the Great Spotted Kiwi/Roroa, NZ Falcon/Karearea, NZ Pigeon/Kereru, Weka, Westland Petrel/Taiko, Blue Penguins/Korora, Oystercatchers/Torea, Gulls, Banded Dotterel/Pohowera, Terns, Tomtit/Miromiro, Tui, Bittern/Matuku Hurepo, Bellbird/Korimako, and Grey Warbler/Riroriro. As stoats are particularly devastating on all native bird life, we aim to enhance the survival and nesting success rates of native birds in the area. In addition to reducing stoat numbers, we also expect to reduce the populations of weasels, rats and hedgehogs.

The project undertakes an annual spring 5 minute bird count on a 20-station line as an index of bird abundance. We analyse and report on trends. We monitor stoat activity through the use of a trail camera. We collect and collate statistics of catches.

We have a growing core of local residents that are hosting a trap, but we need your help! Please get in touch.