The Waiuku Estuary Restoration Society have been putting in volunteer hours to ensure that pests are kept away from bird life on the Waiuku River estuary.
As part of the society’s (commonly known as the Mudlarks), requirement consent, they have to put pest control measures in place.
This has resulted in them setting 34 traps along the water’s edge and surrounding areas, which target rats, possums and stoats.
The traps are placed on both sides of the Waiuku River, aiming to protect and reduce the impact of pests on the wading birds.
“The purpose is to encourage birds, nesting birds and others, back into the area,” says Barry Gibbon.
54 volunteer hours have gone into the project and so far and it is proving successful.
Since the traps were set between 14 December 2016 and 28 February 2017, they have caught a number of pests, including nine rats, 22 possum and two hedgehogs.
As the traps are a mixture of kill traps and bait traps, they say it’s hard to know exact numbers of pests that have been stopped.
“Baiting means you don’t find the ones who have taken the bait and died,” Barry says.
Already, there have been comments from the public on the increase of bird life around the estuary, which they hope will continue.
“If it helps to sustain bird life, then it’s got to be a good thing,” Barry says.