COLC'S ONGOING HELP RECOGNISED BY NEW ZEALAND DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
Many of our past and current students are familiar with what we call the "Trapline". For those who aren't familiar, the trapline is one of several successfully established environmental projects that the Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre runs alongside its English as a Foreign Language Courses.
The Trapline, located on the Waitaia Loop Track, is a return walk of approximately 3km, and leads through some of the most beautiful native bush on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Before COLC's involvment, the area was infested with introduced pests and predators which have a major effect on the native ecosystem.
After some discussions with Project Kiwi, Kim Lawry, COLC's director, thought it would be fantastic if COLC could offer support in reducing the number of pests and predators, assist the ecosystem, and in particular, help protect the kiwi that live in that area.
In March 2015, Bernice Thompson, COLC's Activity Programme Manager, along with Paula Williams from Project Kiwi and a group of COLC students, all volunteered their time to GPS mark and measure the track for traps locations. The Department of Conservation donated 35 traps which target rats and stoats, and the students placed these along the track. The traps are serviced regularly by COLC staff and students who are now noticing significant results in seeing native bird life returning to the area.
Over the past 2 years, COLC staff and students have removed over 150 pests from the area. These were mainly rats, but some stoats and weasels as well.
Early 2017, COLC took over the responsibility to maintain the track and are working with New Zealand's Department of Conservation to manage the track, and are utilising students from COLC to carry out working bees to keep the track in clean and tidy.
In February 2017 COLC hosted two major clearing days aiming to remove dead debris from the track where we were overwhelmed with over 55 helpers, adding up to 140 man hours over the two days. Partly due to this amazing effort, the New Zealand Department of Conservation decided to donate 5 Goodnature traps to the project.
The self resetting traps from Good Nature provide an excellent way to control pest numbers.
Possums are also one of New Zealand's most destructive pests and we often see signs of possum activity in and around our local area.
COLC is starting to fundraise for 10 Goodnature Possum traps to reduce the number of possums around the Waitaia Loop Track.
If you would like to help; please contact us here
To provide a safe environment for NZ native wildlife to flourish whilst maintaining the opportunity for people to have easy access to the bush and be able to see native birds in their natural habitats.