VOLUNTEERS help build traps to protect our native bird species from predators.Photo supplied

OPOTIKI Department of Conservation is getting cracking with Conservation Week by organising three interesting and free events.

Conservation Week runs from September 14 to 22 and Opotiki DoC rangers are putting on events to help kickstart conservation awareness and action within the community.

Biodiversity ranger Mithuna Sothieson said with more than 4000 species threatened or at risk, “nature needs us to take action now”.

“By attending one of these events you can find out more about how you can do your part to help,” she said.

The first workshop, on trapping and trap building, will be held on Sunday at the Waiotahe Hall, starting at 9.30am

“In the morning we’ll have a workshop that covers all the ins and outs of our native predators and how to take your trapping to the next level,” Ms Sothieson said.

Topics to be covered include what drives predators such as possums, stoats and rats, what type of traps to use, where to place them and what to bait them with.

“We will reveal many tips and techniques to increase your trapping success,” she said.
Following the workshop, attendees are invited to stay on, learning how to build their rat trap box, with a bonus rat trap.

“This means you’ll be taking home a complete and free boxed rat trap for your backyard,” Ms Sothieson said.

“All material and instructions will be provided.”

By working together, the participants would be helping to realise the goal of making Opotiki predator free, she said.

Opotiki Mitre 10 is supporting the trap building workshop.

On Tuesday September 17, a marine and freshwater-related evening will be held at the Opotiki RSA.

The Waiti, Waita – Conservation in the freshwater and marine world evening starts at 6.30pm and goes to 9pm with two guest speakers, Kelly Hughes and Monique Ladds.

Mr Hughes, an Ohiwa resident, will discuss the challenges facing native migratory fish and how people can help improve fish passage to give them a helping hand.

Ms Ladds, a DoC marine technical adviser, will talk about various marine-based conservation issues – ranging from plastic pollution to fishing and climate change, as well as solutions that are being worked on nationally.

Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be provided, with other nibbles and drinks available for purchase at the bar.

On Saturday, September 21, avian aversion training will be held at the Memorial Park Pavilion.

Ms Sothieson encourages all dog owners whose animals have not previously gone through this training, to participate.

“By putting your dog through the avian aversion training, which runs from 9am to midday, you’ll be reducing the threat your dog post to kiwi and weka,” she said.

“Following the aversion training, there’s a barbecue for the community from the Opotiki District Council and us.”

For more information and questions, use the opotiki@doc.govt.nz email address.