Our goal is to put an A24 trap next to every DOC200 trap in the lines managed by WTMC, Lisa & Geoff Whittle and the Awarua Aorangi Trust. The $20K we’ve been granted will help us start this process.
Research shows two traps get better results than one plus one. If one trap catches something then other predators are more likely to come and have a look and get caught themselves.
The great thing about A24s is they’re self-resetting – they can catch multiple predators between our monthly checks, while a DOC200 can only catch one. Having another type of trap should also help catch stoats that are shy of DOC 200s. We’ve seen signs there are more stoats in the ecosystem but we’re not catching many in the DOC200s nowadays.
This year we put 55 A24s down an untracked ridge into the Upper Makaroro river. We’ve seen plenty of predator remains around them, while DOC200 catches in the main network remain very low. We’re using bait that targets stoats in our A24s, which means we need to rebait them monthly just like the DOC200s. But Good Nature is working on an auto-lure pump targeting stoats and we’re looking forward to getting that.
We’re really excited about this funding – it’s not enough to put an A24 next to every DOC200 we have, but it will go part way towards this goal. And we can think about other avenues to raise more funding. In the New Year we’ll be developing a phased plan for installation of the A24s, which we’ll do in tandem with our regular monthly checks.
It’s really exciting to be doing this work in partnership with Lisa and Geoff and with the Awarua Aorangi Trust (who are now managing the block that stretches north from Aranga).
Here’s to a happy Christmas and 2018 for the Whio!