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Capital Kiwi has 850 traps live with hopes for big kill before Christmas

Originally published by Amber-Leigh Woolf on Stuff.co.nz - December 6, 2018

 

Wellington's miniature killers are on high alert, Capital Kiwi says.

From Makara in the wind turbines, as far as the eye can see, the land is loaded and ready with 850 traps in a mission to replace stoats and pests with roaming Kiwi.

Capital Kiwi operations lead Jamie McNaught said the traps were baited and set ahead of target.

"In two days, we've been able to set 850 traps. That's all of them."

They were already seeing evidence of kills, however Goodnature's self-resetting A24 traps were yet to be officially checked and the data collected, McNaught said.

"Information is coming through, but it's pretty intermittent."

Capital Kiwi founder Paul Ward said the fast progress was thanks to land owners and Meridian getting behind the project. 

Stage one is the 850 traps spread across  6000 ha - Terawhiti Station, Kinnoull and the Makara Farm.  

It's the first step of a five-year target to have kiwi roaming freely in Wellington, even in city suburbs, 20,000 ha in total and 4400 traps.  

"Most of the people out there [trapping] are Wellingtonians, and I think there's a real appreciation for how special this landscape is," Ward said.  

The traps alert the Capital Kiwi crew to kills using Bluetooth. Ward said even as they were driving around the farm, they were already receiving alerts. 

Capital Kiwi was launched in November in an effort to eradicate pests from Wellington to the extent that reintroducing Kiwi would be safe.