View of the Port Hills and Lyttelton Harbour from Mt Herbert (Gina Waibl)
What It’s All About
The Summit Road Society launched Predator Free Port Hills in November 2016.
Our vision is to protect native species and to see their populations flourish in our lifetimes. Ultimately, we want the Port Hills to become predator free with thriving native wildlife in our neighbourhoods, local parks and reserves, farmland and bush areas.
This will also mean no rats scavenging from compost bins, more birds nesting, no more pesky possums eating garden plants, fruit trees and native bush, and more birdsong from a wider variety of birds.
Predator Free Port Hills will cover the Port Hills and the urban fringe bounding Banks Peninsula so that our pest control efforts will act as a buffer zone to Pest Free Banks Peninsula.
To achieve our vision, we want to:
- Have a trap in one of every five households by 2024.
- Target possums, ferrets, stoats, weasels and rats. These are some of our major predators and are easily caught in a small backyard trap.
- Focus on the urban fringe of the Port Hills, from Taylors Mistake to Halswell, and the harbour from Lyttelton to Purau, as well as rural areas between Halswell and Motukarara, including Tai Tapu.
- Contribute to the wider Pest Free Banks Peninsula initiative pestfreebankspeninsula.org.nz
- Collaborate with local and central government, other conservation groups, residents and landowners.
By joining Predator Free Port Hills you will be part of a growing number of communities around New Zealand that are getting on board with the government’s Predator Free 2050 initiative. Communities can achieve a lot when they work together, and many communities have already made progress that was once unimaginable.
What We’re Doing
Predator Free Port Hills is a backyard trapping initiative in the urban fringe surrounding the Port Hills and Lyttelton harbour. It is an initiative launched by the Summit Road Society to assist residents and local groups to achieve what we hope will be a community-led, long-term project to improve the biodiversity of the Port Hills, to make them safe for our unique native species and to encourage the continued regeneration of our native plants.
To achieve this, the Summit Road Society provides subsidised traps to Port Hills residents and organises workshops and public events on backyard trapping. Backyard trapping is still very new in New Zealand and many people have never dealt with anything bigger than a mouse trap. We want to make trapping easier, more affordable and more accessible for the everyday household.
Each suburb is supported by a local coordinator or team of co-ordinators from your community. Your coordinator can provide you with traps, show you how to use them, how to monitor and record your catches, and give any other advice you may need.
One of the strengths of Predator Free Port Hills is local communities and connections – neighbours talking to neighbours.
Trap building day at Halswell Quarry
To sign up to Predator Free Port Hills or for more information, please visit our website predatorfreeporthills.org.nz. This website has comprehensive information on the Predator Free Port Hills project, trapping and monitoring.
The website uses ArcGIS software and is similar to the systems used by Predator Free Wellington and Predator Free Hamilton. We are very grateful to GIS in Conservation Volunteers who have developed this system for us pro bono. We recommend Chrome as your internet browser. Due to the maps, it works best with WIFI. If the site fails to load, please check your cookies under your internet settings. Turn off the control that blocks third party cookies.
It is our hope that eventually all of Christchurch will join the Predator Free movement. If you are outside the Port Hills and keen to start a backyard trapping programme in your area, please visit the Predator Free NZ Trust website for ideas on getting started (predatorfreenz.org/get-involved/start-community-group/)
For more information about Predator Free Port Hills, please contact Marie on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 349 3409.