A Predator Free Okere Falls raising funds with an online auction

Predator Free Okere Falls is running a charity auction to raise money for “much-needed traps”, with some “amazing” vouchers up for grabs.

Team member Jamie Garrod said the Predator Free Okere Falls project was set up with the clear vision of ridding residential properties and native reserves of pest predators.

“This includes possums, rats, and stoats, all of which run rampant in our community.

“Our community is home to many native flora and fauna, some of which are critically endangered. As a community we think it’s about time we start to protect it.”

In a short space of time, the group have “already achieved a lot”.

They have engaged with the community through their Facebook page and held a community chew card making event and information evening.

Steph Neilson checks a trap at Okere Falls. Photo / Josh Neilson
Steph Neilson checks a trap at Okere Falls. Photo / Josh Neilson

“Community members made chew cards to place in their properties and local reserves.”

A chew card is a bait laced piece of card used to identify whether predators are in an area.

“The chew cards we set out in the community came back with some disturbing results.

“Almost all cards were chewed by rats or possums, making it clear that action needs to be taken.”

The group has already secured a $3000 grant from Kiwibank for subsidised traps in residential areas and a $5000 grant from Rotorua Lakes Council.

“The grants are great for getting us started but much more is needed,” Garrod said.

Last Thursday a community meeting was held at Okere Falls Store, with many local residents attending.

Predator Free Okere Falls team member Jamie Garrod checks one of the traps in his kayak gear. Photo / Josh Neilson
Predator Free Okere Falls team member Jamie Garrod checks one of the traps in his kayak gear. Photo / Josh Neilson

“It was an educational evening where the community learnt what trap types are available and the ones we will be using in our community, as well as information about the dire state of our native flora and fauna,” Garrod said.

“We were lucky enough to hear the success story of what trapping had achieved at Rotorua Canopy Tours and the night concluded with Rotorua Canopy Tours gifting us our first trap.”

Before they buy some “much needed” traps, Garrod said they were running a charity auction, running on Trade Me until Sunday.

“Everyone has been so keen to get behind us and we’re lucky with how many generous local businesses have donated. “

To find the items click here.

Some of the vouchers up for grabs
– Mt Tarawera Crater Experience family pass with Kaitiaki Whanau for up to four people, valued at $675
– Two Beerfest tickets with Pork Roasts for Saturday night at the Okere Falls Store, valued at $130
– Mountain biking lesson in the Redwoods for up to four people with New Zealand Mountain Biking, valued at $380
– Whitewater rafting for up to six people and photos from River Rats, valued at $679
– A tandem kayak trip down the Kaituna River with world whitewater kayaking champ Sam Sutton (Rotorua Rafting), valued as priceless
– A double pass for an Original Canopy Tour with Rotorua Canopy Tours, valued at $298
– A double pass for white water rafting on the Wairoa River from Kaituna Cascades

By: Alice Guy. Full article available at The Daily Post

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