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Backyard Trapping Fund

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Several days ago Predator Free NZ announced the successful applicants for this years round of their “backyard communities” trapping fund. reWild Wainui (Wainui Residents Association) were one of the 13 successful applicants meaning we have $3000 to spend on traps in the community!

This fund is specifically targeted at more “urban” properties, one of their tests being if you mow your lawn with a ride on mower, you probably don’t qualify. So it’s for smaller properties only … no lifestyle blocks or farms this time. We know there are around 180 smaller properties in Wainui, and we know there are many keen trappers!

To make things simple, we applied for funding to target possums and rats only, as the trap choices and our ability to support them is easier. Stoats, ferrets, feral cats etc are targets we’ll tackle in future applications.

Here’s a few questions we’re anticipating people might ask?

First-up, why the name “reWild Wainui?

Many organisations that are focused on pests are called “Pest Free/Predator Free <inset place name here>. But we wanted a focus more broadly on the habitat and environment of Wainui, and specifically the reduction of weeds, removal of pests and replanting of native trees. Pests are a big part of this, but we thought one of the great outcomes is Wainui becoming a little bit “wild” again, a bit like it used to be …

Why are we doing this?

Well, everyone will have their own reason. Some people may just want their lemons left untouched, others may want to see more native birds. Regardless of your motivation, pests are a big problem, and we can collectively make a difference.

I’m not sure I have any pests?

We’re pretty confident you do! Possums are widespread in Wainui, and rats even more so. For the most part they are nocturnal, and rats are very shy, so you probably won’t see them. But they are there!

Isn’t it Pest Free Banks Peninsulas job to trap pests?

Well, yes, they have around $10 million in funding to trap pests, but they are just starting to trap on 28,000 ha (of 110,000ha) of Banks Peninsula, namely Kaitorete Spit and “The Wildside”. It’s a HUGE job and it will be many years and many more millions before they get anywhere near Wainui. In the meantime, countless birds will have perished in our community.  

Our grant was for $3000. Can we seriously make a difference?

Yes! Because you probably care deeply about the very special place in which we live or visit! We won’t eradicate them, but we have the opportunity to collectively as a community make a hell of a dent in pest populations before PFBP get here! Effective trapping isn’t just about the number of traps, it’s the commitment to use them.

Who is eligible for traps from this fund?

Any property owner in Wainui on a smaller section. It doesn’t specifically matter if you’re a full time or part time resident, but we are looking for a commitment to trapping, which currently we’re defining as:

  1. The trap needs to be checked and cleared/rebaited at least every 2 weeks
  2. Results need to be logged in our project on

What, we have to log it on the Internet?

We know “having” to do this might seem a chore, but it’s important. It helps us quantify the size of our pest problem, it helps us celebrate our success (you might find that addictive!), and it helps prove a case for future funding. We’ll give you full training, and there’s an easy app to do it on your phone! It’s not hard! is the most widely used tool in NZ. Feel free to register in advance of getting your traps. And, we do have a guide to help you though the process, download it here.

So what can we trap?

Traps will be available for possums and rats, two of the biggest problems we have. You can potentially choose 1 of each, dependent on how many properties are seeking traps?

What traps are available?

We’ll be discussing that with you in the coming weeks. We’re suggesting either tree mounted Trapinators or Flipping Timmys for possums. Both are easy to use and effective.  For rats we’re looking at standard wooden tunnels with a Victor Trap, but we’re also investigating the Envirotools “D-Rat”.

Is there a cost?

Technically no, but the funds will only cover a certain number of traps. With the possum traps costing between $50 and $75, and the (outdoor) rat traps up to $38 we’re suggesting a small donation per trap would allow us to buy even more traps. We’re thinking $10-$15?

What about Bait?

Dependent on community support (see the next question) we don’t have funding for bait. Popular baits for possums are Nutella (the cheaper generic brand is fine) or fruit such as apple. For rats, peanut butter and Nutella. So yes, there is a small ongoing cost. But, you’ll see many benefits from fewer pests!

Will I own the trap(s)?

Our goal is to help remove as many pests as possible from Wainui, so it’s our collective responsibility to keep trapping. We know over time peoples interest can wane, and traps often sit there unused. So we’d like to suggest that yes, the trap is yours if you keep trapping. If you run out of steam, we’ll encourage you to pass it on. That’s why we’re suggesting this is a donation, rather than a purchase. If you absolutely want to outright own the trap, but can’t commit to checking the trap or updating, we can sell you a trap at cost price, around 20% cheaper than retail. Just ask.

Could I get other people to check my trap(s)?

Absolutely! We’re really keen to develop a group of committed trappers, so yep, lean on your friends and neighbours!

What about the Akaroa Trap Library?

We love the ATL! Many residents use the library and the Residents Association has contributed money towards trap purchases in the past. This fund is limited and only covers “urban” Wainui. If you need more traps, or are rural, then the Akaroa Trap Library is there for you!

OK, I’m keen in principle, but not sure I can do it …

Resident of Jubilee Rd, Lawrence Smith, is volunteering his time to help EVERY trapper get up to speed. He’ll help you select the best trap locations, help install the traps, give you advice on the best strategies, and get you setup on EASY!

When is all this happening?

Well, the funding is approved so we’re good to go. But, we need to determine how many people are interested, what they are interested in trapping, and maybe what sort of traps they are interested in. We’d like to say mid-November to commence trapping, who knows, maybe even earlier?

Can I do my own thing, or use poisons instead?

Of course! Our goal is just to catch pests and make Wainui a better place for our fauna and flora. We’d love you to sign up to our project however so we know what is happening! And poisons are fine if used according to the specifications, in fact for knocking down large populations they are one of the most effective tools. We can help you with advice on this if you need it.

What else?

Well, you might still have questions! Feel free to email Lawrence at [email protected], he’ll be happy to help! 

Ready to go? Register your interest!