1. Opening the closed Ridge line
Lezette and I met with Simon Matthews, site manager Weiti Station, to discuss access to our closed ridge trapline. Simon reassured us of his commitment to assisting with our trapping program but said that for the next few months access by road to the ridge would be impossible because of continuing road works. He had no objection to our accessing the Weiti side of the fence line on the ridge to recover our traps and to set a new line. Access would then be via the Okura bush walkway and therefore very time consuming. I have arranged to discuss alternatives with Rob McLune who manages our Creek East line that does extend to the perimeter of the bush adjacent to the Weiti Station.
2. First quarter trapping results 2017
The first three months of 2017 caught 154 rats, 255 mice, 17 stoats or weasels, and 29 possums. This compares with the same period in 2016 where 190 rats, 263 mice, 16 s/w, and 26 possums were killed. A few 2017 results are still due so the results of the two years are very similar.
April and May have been peak catch times over the last two years so we expect number to pick up over the next quarter.
3. New trappers
We have put one new trapper, Rachel, on the Northern Walkway with Elaine Pollock as she lives in Silverdale. Lezette and I are following up to recent general enquiries to volunteer for FOOB and one at least may want to do some trapping.
We are gradually upgrading most of the tunnel + SnapE units to the KaMate traps. The Northern, Lower, and Creek East lines are now mostly KaMate traps which appear to be killing rats and mice. We are still leaving SnapE traps and tunnel every 100m, with KaMate traps every 25m.
5. Trapper meetings
Consensus opinion amongst trappers was that they liked to have at least two meetings a year. The draft minutes of the December 2016 meeting are available on request.
11th April 2017