DOC is encouraging people of all ages to look in their backyard this Conservation Week and see how they can help protect and nurture our amazing and unique wildlife.
In the East Coast, the Whangawehi Management Catchment Group is bringing together conservation experts and holding a free Predator Control Workshop at Mahia on 17 October.
Community Ranger, Malcom Smith says, “We want to show people conservation can be done in your own backyard, in gardens, parks and marine areas. Even small actions make a big difference.”
“This workshop will focus on the ‘how’. It’s going to be very practical,” he says.
The workshop runs from 9.30am to 3pm on the 17th and is free to attend, but you must register to confirm your place.
Conservation Week is 14-22 October and this year DOC wants people to convert their love of nature into action.
“We know the vast majority of New Zealanders (85%*) rate conservation as important to them personally, yet still only about one in ten have actively helped on a conservation project,” says Malcolm.
“Our predator-free vision of ridding the country of rats, stoats and possums by 2050 starts in your own backyard. It’s great to see momentum gathering as more communities band together to make their own areas predator free.”
Events like the Whangawehi Management Catchment Group’s Predator Control Workshop help communities take steps towards a predator free New Zealand.
At the workshop, trapping experts will share their practical knowledge.
Darren Peters is the National Predator Control Officer for the Department of Conservation and has been involved at the cutting edge of predator control for many years.
Rod Dickson has been at the forefront of the Cape-to-City predator control project in Hawke’s Bay and is keen to share his expertise.
Sam Gibson is Technical Advisor for Good Nature and will demonstrate the finer points of using their revolutionary self-resetting traps.
Another exciting Conservation Week special event in the Gisborne area is a plant care activity at Titirangi (Kaiti Hill). This is happening on 18 October 10am-12pm, so you can join other volunteers and enjoy the city views as you work.
Malcolm says, “Getting out and taking care of our nature also has the added benefit of improving health and wellbeing, so it’s win-win.”
For further details about Conservation Week and to register for events, visit www.conservationweek.org.nz.
- DOC’s partners also get involved in Conservation Week. This includes Genesis, who are encouraging kids to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game. As well as being fun, the game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild, eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators.
- Toyota New Zealand are also getting involved. Our Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme connects kids with nature and rewards them with medals. Conservation Week marks the launch of our new waterways clean-up medal, Toa Tiaki Wai.