9 Aug 2013

Trapping programme in Kahurangi National Park

10:40 am on 9 August 2013

TBfree New Zealand, the Department of Conservation and a local conservation group Friends of Flora are teaming up to get on top of the possums, rats and stoats in the Kahurangi National Park near Motueka.

Together they aim to stop possums spreading TB to livestock while also giving native birds a chance to thrive this spring.

Friends of Flora spokesperson Maryann Ewers says they're already carrying out substantial trapping in the area, with 100 kilometres of trap line protecting more than 8000 hectares of forest.

There will also be a significant 1080 drop across 23,000 hectares of the national park and surrounding forestry land and Ms Ewers says she hopes it will give the birds a head start. She says the drop will clean out the ecosystem and give the birds a huge window of opportunity to breed in safety in spring.

In recent years the great spotted kiwi and blue duck have been released into the park to re-establish their population. Ms Ewers says the first kiwi chick was born just before Christmas last year.