Tag Archives: Catchit schools

Ahuroa School Student takes CatchIT Schools to Red Beach – 11 October 2016

Ahuroa School student Dylan Hunt was so motivated by the CatchIT Schools programme he decided to spread the word to other kids outside his school.

Dylan’s class was part of the CatchIT Schools pilot programme at Ahuroa School in Term 2 this year. This involved the students learning about pests – and the hard time native species are having. They then took action by becoming hands on trappers in their own backyards. Students were encouraged to experiment and use bar charts and to analyse their results to improve their trapping success.

Dylan was so motivated by what he learnt from the programme, he decided to create a powerpoint presentation about his experience.  However he didn’t stop there.  He then gained permission to visit Red Beach Primary School for the day where he visited each class at the school, telling them about trapping pests and the fun he was having with the science and statistics side of the programme.

CatchIT Schools Educator, Liz Maire tagged along for some of the class visits. 

“Dylan not only told people what it was like to be involved in the programme, he also made them realise why he was doing it and how much fun it could be.  He’s an enthusiastic trapper and a born communicator!” Liz Maire, CatchIT Schools Educator

Click on the link below to see Dylan’s presentation

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Dylan during one of the Red Beach class visits
Dylan showing a rat trap to Red Beach Primary School students
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Help CatchIT Schools Win a WWF Conservation Innovation Award – 5 October 2016

The Forest Bridge Trust has entered the CatchIT Schools programme into the WWF Conservation Innovation Awards.  Winners receive prizes worth $25,000.

You can help us by visiting the WWF site and voting for us!

CatchIT Schools is entered under the heading of “Traps, Rats and Stats – a trapping programme for school children“.

Each entry has to answer a conservation problem or issue. CatchIT Schools is attempting to solve the issue of motivating and engaging younger people and their whanau in sustained community pest control.

To vote or make a comment go to:

https://wwf-nz.crowdicity.com/post/283713

You will need to sign in (if you have done so before) or register if not

  • Go to the top right of the webpage where it says register / sign in, follow the instructions
  • Then you can go to the awards page and look at the entries
  • Click on the vote button at the top right hand side of the entry (the thumbs up symbol) and it’s OK to vote for another project – honest!
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page to comment (we need comments too).

Feel free to pass this on through your friends and networks. With your help we could take out the top prize!

Community Pest Control Workshops—February – March 2016

During February and March, The Forest Bridge Trust held three community pest control workshops.  The workshops were held in Kaipara Flats, Tauhoa and Tomarata.

Landowners in the Hoteo catchment were invited and the objectives of each session were to (1) inform the community about the existence, goals and objectives of The Forest Bridge Trust, (2) describe the introduced predators that harm native New Zealand plants and animals and how to deal with them, (3) demonstrate the use of traps to control predators and (4) distribute traps to interested landowners so that they can initiate or expand predator control on their properties.

The sessions were led by TFBT trustee and education coordinator Liz Maire.  Liz was assisted by fellow trustees Kevin and Gill Adshead and by Glenn and Joe, experienced professional trappers.

Liz opened each session by having the participants introduce themselves and introducing the trustees who explained the background and objectives of The Forest Bridge Trust.

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The trappers then provided an overview of the different types of predators people might encounter on their properties and explained their behaviour and the damage they do.

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This was followed by a demonstration of various traps and trapping techniques.

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Participants were given the chance to get some experience setting the traps.

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Participants were invited to take traps to use in their pest control efforts.  Thanks to TFBTs fundraising efforts, the Trust is able to provide a few traps to the community free of charge to get them started.

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Liz closed each session by explaining the TFBT CatchIT programme in schools and the Walk the Line app which enables us to do GPS monitoring of traps and provides the ability to record catch activity for further analysis.

A total of 46 community members attended the three sessions and 51 traps were distributed for deployment in the field.

For further information or assistance in trapping on your property, please contact The Forest Bridge Trust at theforestbridgetrust@gmail.com

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CatchIT Schools at Kaipara Flats School—30 July & 13 August 2015

The CatchIT programme is well underway at Kaipara Flats School after the initial launch on 30th July when, Liz Maire, The Forest Bridge Trust (TFBT) educator, conducted a presentation to the students about pests and their effect on native plants and wildlife. She also demonstrated the use of tracking cards and each student was given a tracking tunnel and tracking cards to monitor pests around their homes.

On 4th August a workshop was held at the school for the parents at the school.  TFBT trustee Chris Roberts briefly introduced the objectives of the Trust and then Liz discussed the CatchIT Schools programme.

She started by discussing the different types of pests that we want to control.

3 Kaipara Flats - rats are pests posterter explaining the different types of pests, Liz introduced the different kinds of traps that are used.  The students and parents got a chance to see how a DoC 200 trap works!1 Kaipara Flats traps demo Aug 2015At the end of the session families took home a DOC 2000 and a Timms trap.2 kaiparaOn In August, Liz returned to see what the students had found on their tracking cards.
Some prints were puzzling, but we had an expert on hand visiting the school for the morning.  Warren Agnew from Gotcha Traps gave the students helpful hints on how to identify different creatures’ footprints.  Warren is the inventor of the tracking card system and had an interested audience. He explained about the differences between male and female stoat prints and had innovative ideas on how to attract these pests into traps – using mirrors and toy windmills!6 Kaipara Flats - Warren Agnew talks to the children about prints of a stoat5 Kaipara Flats - what print is that session Aug 2015The students also reported back on the trapping success they were having with the Timms traps and DoC200s.  Some of the students shared pictures of what they had caught.6a Kaipara Flats - Aug 15 watching photos of children with their catches - Gary O'Brien principal and Liz Maire project leaderSome students are already having success and the most unlikely catch was a ship rat caught in a trap designed for possums and baited with apple!10 Rat in Timms - lure was apple - Kaipara Flats student-page-001

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The students were given mouse and rat traps and were given a chance to set mouse traps and to learn how to place them in their protective pipes.  The pipes prevent birds and pets from accidentally triggering the traps.

This was voted the best bit of the session!

Sue Cameron and Jo Ritchie were also on hand to show the traps work and the students had a chance to see how a DOC 200 works.

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The students were each given a 4 mouse traps, 2 rat traps, and protective covers to take home. They were also given a log sheet to keep track of what they catch and the bait they use and other relevant information and this data will be accumulated as part of the larger CatchIT programme.

7 kaipara8 Kaipara Flats - Sue Cameron for TFBT enjoys seeing a student setting a mouse trap - Aug 20159 Kaipara Flats - Jo Ritchie helps the students to set mouse traps - Aug 2015Liz returned to the school to follow up with the students on their pest control activities and there were some impressive results!

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As always, we have a lot of people to thank for the roll out of the CatchIT programme.  Thanks to Warren Agnew of Gotcha Traps for providing tracking tunnels and cards, Auckland Council and the Rodney Local Board for providing  rat and mouse traps and rat tunnels, the Mataia Restoration project for providing mouse trap tunnels, the Auckland Council Biosecurity Team for the Timms traps and Auckland Council’s Rodney Environmental Education Fund for partly funding our environmental educator.

We’d like to thank Liz for her hard work in preparing and presenting the sessions and handling all of the many administrative details such as numbering and accounting for all of the traps.

And we especially want to thank the staff, students and parents from Kaipara Flats School for being part of the CatchIT programme and for your enthusiasm and support.  We know you will catch a lot of pests and make an important contribution to the health of New Zealand’s plant and animal life.

 

 

 

 

CatchIT Schools at Tomarata School—12 & 14 August 2015

Our Education Coordinator Liz Maire held follow up sessions at Tomarata School to find out what pests the children had detected in their own back yards.  She also distributed rat and mouse traps and trained the student in how to use them safely.

The students brought in their tracking cards and there lots of prints to identify.  With Liz’s help, the students identified the tracks on their cards and presented the results to the class.

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The cards revealed a variety of pests—there were lots of mice and rats plus a possible stoat and a hedgehog.  In addition to learning to identify tracks, the students also learned some valuable lessons.  One or two tracking cards were eaten by the family dog and a cat visited a tunnel put out at the school.

As a result of Liz’s efforts, over 100 Tomarata students have now been trained in using rat and mouse traps and are setting them out at home and at school  In addition, several families are using the donated Timms and DOC200 traps that had been distributed at the workshop on 5 August.  Tomarata students are making a huge contribution to reduce the populations of rats, mice, mustelids and possums.

As always, we have a lot of people to thank for the roll out of the CatchIT programme.  Thanks to Warren Agnew of Gotcha Traps for providing tracking tunnels and cards, Auckland Council and the Rodney Local Board for providing  rat and mouse traps and rat tunnels, the Mataia Restoration project for providing mouse trap tunnels, the Auckland Council Biosecurity Team for the Timms traps and Auckland Council’s Rodney Environmental Education Fund for partly funding our environmental educator.

We’d also like to thank Liz for her hard work in preparing and presenting the sessions and handling all of the many administrative details such as numbering and accounting for all of the traps.

And we especially want to thank the staff, students and parents from Tomarata School for being part of the CatchIT programme and for your enthusiasm and support.  We know you will catch a lot of pests and make an important contribution to the health of New Zealand’s plant and animal life.

CATCHIT Schools Launched at Tomarata and Tauhoa Schools–27 July 2015.

Liz Maire, our education coordinator, kicked off the CatchIT pest control programme with help from Tauhoa and Tomarata School students.  The students helped us get some of the new traps ready and Liz  gave the students an overview of the problems caused by introduced pests, explained the different creatures and how to control them, and talked about tracking tunnels and trapping.

Liz Explains the Front End of a Stoat

Liz Explaining Why Stoats Are So Nasty

There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes, sourcing traps and materials.

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Some of the 100 Timms Traps Donated by Auckland Council

Five Tomorata School Students Help Carry Some of the Timms Traps to Safe Storage

5 Tomarata School Students Help Carry Timms Traps to Safe Storage

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100 Rat Boxes Made by Oikoumene Timber of Helensville With Funding From Rodney Local Board

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Tomarata Students Unloading Rat Boxes

On the day, Liz and Gill held two sessions at the school.

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Liz With a Possum Puppet

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Liz Shows Off Motuora’s infamous Norway rat

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Liz explaining animal tracks

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Explaining How Tracking Tunnels Work

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Students Trying Their Hand At Interpreting Animal Tracks

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Check Out the Reaction to Seeing a DOC 200 Trap Go Off!

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Gill Adshead, trustee, explains what the Forest Bridge trust is all about using Terry’s great area map.

The programmes were very well received and the students went away with lots of new knowledge and enthusiasm.

A VERY BIG THANK YOU To:

Liz who has given a great deal of her time freely to get the program up and running

Auckland Council for donation of traps and funds

Rodney Local Board for funding,

Warren Agnew ( Gotcha Traps) who donated tracking tunnels and cards

Terry of Nature Designs Ltd who produced a great TFBT area map

Trustees and advisors of The Forest Bridge Trust whose vision made it happen