It’s no secret that New Zealand has a big pest problem, and a big problem requires a big solution. Becoming predator free by 2050 may sound like an unachievable goal, but every individual effort will play an enormous role in its overall success. Here are a few reasons why you should consider backyard trapping, and why it makes a real difference.
Protecting Our Wildlife
You guessed it; trapping helps to protect native wildlife. Predator Free NZ estimates that having a backyard trap at every fifth urban house is enough to make a real difference to our environment and native species.
According to the Department of Conservation (DOC), approximately 25 million birds are killed every year due to predators like rats, stoats and possums, costing New Zealand over $70 million per annum. Not only does backyard trapping help to protect native animals, but working on an individual level to eradicate pests will help to relieve the financial strain that predator control is causing. Backyard trapping can be highly beneficial for your garden too, helping to protect your flowers and fruit trees you’ve worked so hard on growing.
While ‘wellness’ might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about backyard trapping, there is evidence to suggest that engaging in trapping can improve your overall mental health.
In a study of 1200 Wellington residents conducted by Dr Danielle Shanahan, it was found that depression scores were a third lower in those who did trapping, while stress levels were 50% lower. It is suggested that this is because those who take part in trapping take active stewardship of their environment, and have a greater sense of social cohesion derived from spending more time in community groups and other social settings.
There is also research to suggest that children are highly influenced by their involvement in the environment. Spending time outdoors at a young age can drastically shape their attitude and behaviour towards nature for life.
Joining a Community
There are hundreds of community groups working hard towards the goal of eradicating predators and restoring our wildlife. Working towards a common goal with a group of trappers can be significantly more effective than doing it alone, as you can focus your efforts on eradicating one particular pest or restoring a specific species. Being part of a community project is also a great way to get out and meet people with similar interests and values. Contact us to find out more about community groups in your area.
While there are countless benefits of backyard trapping, the most important thing to remember is that this is a team effort. Every household that sets up a backyard trap is contributing towards the goal of improving our biodiversity, restoring our ecosystem and allowing Aotearoa’s native wildlife to flourish.