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Rotorua Canopy Tours guides are not only experienced zipline guides, they are also part of a conservation programme that is working to eradicate pests like possum, rats and stoats from the native forest they zipline in every day. In October 2016, the Rotorua Canopy Tours team completed phase three of the trapping programme with trapping lines now covering 180 ha of the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.
In early October, the guides fought their way through the dense forest cutting trails ready for the Goodnature possum and rat traps to be installed. A12 possum traps every 100 meters and A24 rat traps were installed every 50 meters along the prepared trapping lines.
The new Goodnature traps are self-resetting and are powered by a CO2 canister. The possum trap can catch 12 possums and the rat trap 24 rats. Every time the traps are set off an internal spring re sets the trap ready for the next animal. This method of trapping has proven to be successful at Rotorua Canopy Tours with tons of pests having been removed from the forest and natives now returning to breed this Spring.
Most people do not realise of how destructive rats are in our native forests, they breed very quickly and in large numbers having 12 pups every 12 weeks, rats can get out of control very fast when you are not actively working to reduce the numbers. Rats will eat almost anything; including bird’s eggs, chicks and even each other. This Spring we have seen multiple pairs of North Island robin successfully raise healthy chicks in the ‘safe zone’ we have created in the forest. Without the pressure of possum and rats in the forest, eating the flowers and trees, the bird and insect live in incredible!
The canopy is lush and green again, thanks to the Goodnature traps which are always working throughout the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. Rotorua Canopy tours will keep working towards the goal of restoring the forest by continuing to expand the conservation programme until it is safe and brimming with native animals once again.
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