16 Oct 2013

New traps could be key to kiwi survival

7:28 am on 16 October 2013

Revolutionary new traps that can hold up to 24 dead predators at a time are being touted as the possible saviour of the kiwi.

The traps use a mixture of gas and toxic sprays to wipe out the pests and do not have to be cleared as often as the models they are replacing.

There are roughly 70,000 kiwi left but 27 die each week.

The Kiwis for Kiwi Trust believes the new traps will make a huge dent in that death toll because the technology is far better than that used until now.

The trust believes about 20% of the kiwi population live in areas protected by traps.

It says there is a 60% chance of survival in areas where there is predator protection, but without it only 5% of birds reach breeding age.

The new trap lures stoats and rats with a rotting meat smell, then gas sucks them into the trap and kills them instantly.

Another type of trap squirts toxins onto their belly that kills them when ingested.

The new traps cost $160 and will be rolled out shortly in kiwi habitats.