News, Events and Culture

Community rallies to protect native wildlife

Friday September 16 2016

A community-led biodiversity project supported by the Palmerston North City Council is being launched in Moonshine Valley this weekend. It aims to protect native wildlife by ridding the area of predators.

Photo shows tui feeding on flax flower.

The project will help to protect native birds and other wildlife in Moonshine Valley

The City Council is providing predator traps to residents and will be working closely with the community to maintain the traps and monitor the number of predators caught.

“Moonshine Valley is home to two City Council reserves, both with significant native birdlife, and residents have reported a substantial invasion of possums and mustelids in recent years,” says Council policy analyst Adam Jarvis. 

“We’re confident that through this project we can reduce the number of predators in the area and protect the birds that are currently under threat. The response from the community has been fantastic and there are around 40 households taking part.”

The project was inspired by Predator Free Crofton Downs which has been extraordinarily successful in Wellington.

“Around 200 households took part in the Crofton Downs project and collectively trapped more than 186 rats, 13 weasels and 5 stoats within the first year. The community reported more sightings of native birds and lizards, and at least two Kaka nests were discovered, which is a great result.”

It is expected that the project will run for 12 months and if successful will be rolled out into neighbouring communities.

Moonshine Valley is close to the Green Corridor where the City Council is already enhancing areas of native bush along streams, improving water quality, and creating open green spaces from the Tararua Ranges to the Manawatū River.

The public are invited to attend the launch event which is being held at 11am on Saturday 17 September, during Conservation Week. A community ranger from the Department of Conservation will be demonstrating trap maintenance and there will be a tree planting in the Tutukiwi Reserve, followed by lunch.

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