A large grant to Greenhithe Community Trust from Transpower’s Community Care Fund has given a welcome boost to community pest control efforts in the Oruamo/Hellyers Creek area in Greenhithe.
The 140 hectares of native forest, which is half private and half public owned, has been labelled a high priority area in a new Auckland Council North West Wild Life Link Prioritisation report.
Transpower’s funding will provide 250 Goodnature self-resetting traps powered by a gas canister.
Pest management expert Richard Chambers has been brought on board through a Lotteries Environment Grant to manage the project.
“Reserves in the area have historically had very little pest control but community groups are now trapping rats and possums in two reserves. The new gas traps will be particularly useful in steep and tricky terrain and will enable us to increase our impact across a larger area of the forest with less time-consuming monitoring,” says Chambers.
Auckland Council’s prioritisation report describes the area as being made up of regenerating kanuka forest with small patches of original forest interspersed throughout.
The old-growth vegetation types include kauri-broadleaf podocarp forest, kauri-hard beech forest and coastal pohutukawa forest. It is also home to various native lizards including the copper skink, ornate skink, green gecko and forest gecko.
Greenhithe Community Trust Chairperson Amanda Mitchell says having the report has been invaluable to their conservation efforts.
“Having the area confirmed as having high ecological value and deserving increased protection has helped increase support within the wider community and with decision makers deliberating over our grant applications,” she says.
“So, from humble beginnings a few years when we when we received initial seed funding from the Upper Harbour Local Board, we are now at the stage of kicking off our first big, coordinated pest control project and it’s very exciting,” says Mitchell.
For further information and to join the project, visit greenhithecommunitytrust.org.nz