The Whangarei Men’s Shed has been hard at work making custom built rat trap boxes for Kiwi Coast Groups and is keen to make more!
Both the Tanekaha Landcare Coalition and Whareora Landcare Group have worked with the talented craftsmen at the Men’s Shed over the past couple of months to have over a 150 rat trap boxes made.
Mike Camm, coordinator of the Tutukaka Landcare Coalition says “We are very grateful to the Men’s Shed for making these rat trap boxes for us. We now have 100 rat traps out there in our core pest control area, and the traps are working well already. Less rats means more available food and greater nesting success for our native birds – it should be a bumper spring!”
Tutukaka and Whareora Landcare both received funding for pest control products from the Northland Regional Council, including the easy-to-use SnapE rat traps. However, to avoid catching non-target animals like birds and to ensure a quick and humane death for the rat, it is important that the traps are housed in purpose built boxes and these have to be made separately.
A corflute rat trap box developed by the Friends of Rotoiti in Nelson was kindly sent to the NZ Landcare Trust by Grantley Imports for a Northland Pest Control Workshop in 2012. The box received a lot of attention from trappers and landowners alike. The ingenuity of Ross Clark from Transition Whangarei and Mike Camm from Tutukaka Landcare then saw the design modified to suit Northland conditions and quickly got the seal of approval from local Department of Conservation staff.
Modifications included upgrading the construction material from corflute to wood so that it would withstand being knocked around by curious animals such as possums and feral pigs, and moving the entrance hole from the front to the side to avoid kiwi being able to stick their bill into the trap. Tutukaka Landcare also added a convenient carry-handle to the top for the ease of transporting them quickly and easily around the forest.
Peter Schenker, Coordinator of the Whangarei Men’s Shed, said his team was really happy to be working on such a worthwhile project and are keen to help more community conservation groups: “We’d love to hear from more groups needing help with wood work projects – just get in touch and we’ll see if we can help”!
The Whangarei Men’s Shed is made up of largely retired, highly skilled woodworkers and carpenters keen to use their talents to help the community. When not working with schools, community groups or worthy projects time is spent restoring their base – the historic Whangarei Railway Station. The Men’s Shed operates on a not-for-profit basis, and usually only need to charge for the cost of materials plus a small fee to keep the team going and help restore the station”.
To contact the Men’s Shed about your project email Peter Schenker
To purchase rat trap boxes or to find out more about rat control contact the NRC Biosecurity team on 0800 002 004