Thames Valley Deerstalkers (TVDA) has been a very strong club in the region since 1965, and currently have a membership in excess of 500 members. The branch of NZDA has a great mix of members right across the spectrum, those from preschool aged years through to those who have long since retired. All members are incredibly involved in the club’s many activities.
Photo: Thames Valley Deerstalkers Association loading up the Trap Line boxes for Karangahake Gorge
A strong focus is the conservation work which complements other outdoor and recreational activities and pursuits. For many years this focus has seen the club undertake a wide range of conservation and restoration work for DOC. Since 2009 they have been monitoring and maintaining trap lines across the wider Thames Valley region.
The more recent development of the Hauraki Rail Trail provided an opportunity to assist with installing and monitoring trap lines, to help foster the increase in native fauna in particular for everyone to enjoy. This work is currently undertaken across 7 different sites, with several more in the pipeline about to commence.
TVDA members have made, assembled and laid out all of these traps. They are monitored and cleared at least fortnightly, and all maintenance is also covered by members. The traps being used across the various lines are: Victor rat traps, DOC 150 and DOC 200 traps - all of which are very effective for their chosen locations.
Photo: Thames Valley Deerstalkers Association - The trapping team set the traps
The volunteer members love the chance to get out and enjoy some exercise, fresh air, and the countryside as they undertake this work. Seeing the excellent results of increased wildlife - native birds, reptiles, frogs and insects that occur so quickly by removing rats, stoats, weasels, ferrets and hedgehogs is an added bonus for all.
There are many other traps in operation on the Hauraki Rail Trail, which Dennis Hayfield checks every three weeks. Since May 2017 Dennis has caught 169 Stoats, 118 Rats, 123 Hedgehogs, 8 Weasels and 3 Ferrets. The Hauraki Rail Trail Trust is thrilled to now extend this work through Section C, in association with the Thames Valley Deerstalkers, running a trapline from Waihi to Paeroa.
Local supporters include trail operators, and Coromandel’s Good for your Soul contributors, but you can do your bit, too! Please consider donating via the Hauraki Rail Trail Givealittle Page here.
Photo: Thames Valley Deerstalkers Association - Trapping team Brian and Lisa
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