Everyone’s a trapper

Debra Jager prepares traps for Kaimai Range residents to use in the fight against predators of native species. Photo: Caleb Fotherington.

The Whakamarama Pest Trap Library will let locals borrow pest traps to combat rodents on their property.

The trap library opens this Sunday, November 29 from 3-5pm.

It aims to support trapping work being done in the Kaimai Range, by encouraging orchard and lifestyle block owners backing onto the Kaimai Ranges to borrow a trap.

Debra Jager is championing the library. She says orchards and lifestyle blocks often keep healthy rodent populations.

Traps are free to loan and can be borrowed for three to six months, which could be extended assuming the library doesn’t need it back.

At the beginning there will be no limit to how many traps can be borrowed.

Debra says the community are very excited which she thinks is helped by the location of the library being “in Whakamarama’s central hub”.

The traps are stored in a green shipping container located next to the community hall. The library is opposite both Whakamarama School and the Kindergarten.

Debra says the majority of the traps in the shed were built by the Kitekite mens shed.

“We’re trying to use as many local things as we can.”

Predator Free Bay of Plenty is also donating 10 traps and will be on-site Sunday giving away a free trap per household.

Debra says she was inspired to start a library after hearing the idea on Radio New Zealand nearly two years ago from ecologist, Alison Evans who started one in Little River on the Banks Peninsula.

She says originally she didn’t plan to run the project but in the end she decided there was no excuse to not.

She says it’s been a big process to get the library off the ground.

Debra got funding through the Department of Conversation and the Western Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Environmental Enhancement Fund.

The library will be open every week until Christmas and will be closed over the holidays. It will re-open after, continuing to open weekly and later moving to open fortnightly.

Debra says at the moment it’s manageable running the library by herself but in time she hopes other people can help her out as well.

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