A new initiative to support residents with pest animal and plant control in Kamo has hit the ground running after a successful community workshop held by Tiakina Whangārei and Kamo Community Inc in March.
‘Predator Free Kamo’ has been established to help Kamo become predator free within the next few years. The inaugural workshop introduced a group of enthusiastic locals to the wider vision behind going predator free, as well as the basics of backyard trapping.
Tiakina Whangārei Coordinator, Dr Dai Morgan, said the workshop was a huge success. “There was a great turnout, and we received a lot of enthusiasm for the project and ideas for projects from local residents, which is really exciting. We handed out quite a few traps and have already had reports of them being used in the community, which is fantastic for our native wildlife,” he said.
Following the workshop, traps have now been set up around the forest at the top of Fairway Drive, resulting in five possums trapped in the first month. Predator Free Kamo plans to continue trapping in this area and expects to see a steady decline in predator numbers.
In an effort to inspire young people into community conservation, Predator Free Kamo will organise workshops at Kamo High School and Hurupaki School, educating young people on how trapping and weeding can help native species to thrive in the local community.
Pest animals are not the only threats to our native species and Tiakina Whangārei is now planning to eradicate pest plants from Whangārei City, too. Dr Morgan says this is a natural progression from predator control, as weeds can cause damage to our landscapes by smothering, outcompeting, and stopping the regeneration of native plants. “This will also result in long-term harm to our native animals, which need native plants for survival. Pest control is a matter of life and death for our native species,” he said.
There are currently many hard-working community members volunteering their time to help manage weeds in public spaces. Long-term Kamo resident Victor Binkowski has always enjoyed gardening and wanted to use his hobby to improve the suburb. He regularly weeds around the Waitaua Stream behind the Kamo Rugby Club. “If we remove the pest plants, we have more space for native plants to grow and flourish. We can make a difference, together.”
As we enter the cooler winter months, rodent numbers are expected to increase as they search for food and try to keep warm and dry, so this is the perfect time of year to set traps. If you live in Kamo and want to get involved with any of these awesome community-led projects and be part of the new group Predator Free Kamo we would love to hear from you.
To get involved or for more information on trapping and weeding, email firstname.lastname@example.org.