As part of our ambitions to improve local biodiversity around Lake Dunstan and provide educational and community-led projects, we are looking to install a pest trapline along 5km of the lake’s shoreline for the trust and volunteers to monitor. In March, we applied to the ORC ECO Fund for funds to purchase traps to target rodents, mustelids and possums plus bait, equipment and maintenance.
We were one of the 49 applicants with a combined request for $1.17 million when only $568,000 was available. Unfortunately, our application was unsuccessful this time, but we are thankful for their consideration and feedback to make our application more successful next time. We are now improving our application and applying to the next funding body to make this project a reality.
There is little control of mustelids, rodents and possums in the Cromwell area but there is much need for it. These pests predate on native lizards & birds and damage plants. For groups such as us who look to reintroduce native bush to the area, we need to protect the plants and the wildlife they attract. The Queenstown basin through Whakatipu Wildlife Trust has 40+ volunteer groups monitoring over 3,000 traps and in May 2023 along they removed 965 pests from the region. We hope that similar efforts can be made in the Cromwell basin and look forward to establishing our trapline in the near future once funding is secured.