Vandals sabotage Picton pest traps
A conservation group has been targeted by vandals who sabotaged traps laid out to protect native birds from predators.
Picton Dawn Chorus volunteers are upset at the attack which left 13 traps missing or out of action after being tossed into a nearby stream.
Volunteers face the arduous task of resetting the entire line of $30 traps along Essons Valley in Picton.
Project co-ordinator Siobain Browning says members are disappointed by the vandalism which was reported to police after it was discovered last month.
However, she stressed group members would continue in their efforts to ‘‘protect and enhance’’ local wildlife.
‘‘Members felt disappointment and frustration, but also a strong determination to continue in our efforts.
‘‘We are all doing this because we feel passionate about our native wildlife and we want to see more birds in our parks and gardens. We hope that our efforts will benefit the whole community and make Picton and Waikawa an even more special place.
‘‘Volunteers are giving up a lot of
‘‘Volunteers have already contributed about 60 hours just on Essons Valley.’’
their time and putting a lot of effort in to improving the environment in Picton.
‘‘It already feels like we have a big job ahead and having our work intentionally sabotaged is making this job even bigger. ‘‘
Dawn Chorus members have worked hard towards achieving their goal of making Picton the first predator-free town in New Zealand.
Siobain says as well as the cost involved in replacing or fixing the traps, members had also given up a lot of time to help.
‘‘A lot of additional time has gone in to putting out the location markers and placing the traps and then the regular checking and maintenance of the traps.
‘‘Volunteers have already contributed about 60 hours just on Essons Valley since we started trapping there in February.’’
The present tally of removed predators is 237 rats, 177 mice, 18 possums and one weasel.