Local Conservation Hero Barrie Hepburn – Gone, but not forgotten

Barrie sadly passed away last month, and we wanted to do him honour as he has been a real local legend protecting our natives.

When Barrie moved to the area and teamed up with another local resident Danny back in 2020 they were unstoppable!

They installed over 150 traps at the boundaries of the Weiti Bay Village development which border a large part of Okura Bush and Karepiro Beach. They also went on innumerable night shoots and helped us transport countless numbers of predator control devices to areas with difficult access.

They were also out in the wetland rounding up pesky Canadian Geese, even when Barrie had sustained an injury or two in his determination to protect the area.

Between the traps and the night shoots from mid 2020 and the end of December 2023 they removed:
477 Possums
10 Stoats
29 Weasels
75 Hedgehogs
79 Ship Rats
7 Norway Rats
619 Mice
9 Rabbits
We don’t have a tally of the Canadian Geese he managed to shoot.
He and Danny also live-caught over 15 stray, feral and owned cats that turned up within the cat free village zone.

Barrie’s sense of humour was outrageous, and he gave some of our trappers a great laugh with his secretively placed rubber snakes in the traps to startle us. Barrie also liked to skin some of the predators – and we are grateful to him passing these on to us for educational purposes.

Thanks for all your mahi. We are sorry you never did manage to catch that Eastern Water Dragon, despite all the effort you put into it! You deserve a rest our friend.

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