Towards Predator-Free Taranaki provides an opportunity for your school to make a real difference safeguarding native species in your local green space and helping the region move towards being predator-free.
Here are some of the activities we can provide support for to help you and your students become experts in predator control:
- Towards Predator-Free Taranaki presentation covering the native species we aim to protect, pests we need to remove, how to monitor and trap invasive predators and outcomes of the project so far.
- Teach students how to monitor invasive predators using tracking tunnels, wax tags and/or chew cards (monitoring equipment provided).
- Help your class get trapping by providing traps, advising on where best to place them and how to check them.
- Show your students how to record catches on Trap NZ.
- Selling trap packs as a school fundraiser.
For more details visit www.trc.govt.nz/towards-predator-free-taranaki(external link)
Boosting Biodiversity with a BioBlitz
Your school might also be interested in taking a broader restorative approach to protecting biodiversity in your local green space. In addition to invasive predator control, your students can also get involved with removing invasive weeds and providing improved habitat for native plants and animals.
A great way to start a biodiversity restoration project is with a BioBlitz. A BioBlitz is a concentrated effort to discover and record as many living things as possible within a set location over a limited time period. It provides a fun way for students to learn about biodiversity, including how to identify native and pest species. Photos are taken of each different species found and uploaded to a BioBlitz project in iNaturalist NZ specific to your chosen area. There are lots of great examples of BioBlitz projects undertaken by Taranaki schools in this umbrella project on iNaturalist NZ: https://inaturalist.nz/projects/towards-predator-free-taranaki-bioblitz-network(external link)
A BioBlitz is usually run over one school day with groups of students focussing on birds, invertebrates, invasive predators, pest plants and native plants. If the area of your BioBlitz has a stream running through it, we can also include stream macroinvertebrates. As a follow up, students can research the different species found and hatch a plan to increase native species and remove pest animals and plants, restoring native biodiversity.
Here are some of the websites and links to resources that we use for follow up activities and action:
Monitoring birds and other bird-related resources:
Planting to attract native birds:
- https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/conservation-activities/attract-birds-to-your-garden/(external link)
Providing habitat for lizards:
- https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/conservation-activities/attract-lizards-to-your-garden/(external link)
Guide to lizards found in Taranaki:
Providing habitat for wētā:
- https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/conservation-activities/exploring-nature-with-children-booklet/in-your-own-backyard/build-a-weta-motel/(external link)
- https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/toyota-kiwi-guardians/take-action/build-a-weta-motel/(external link)
Trapping advice and school resources:
- https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/conservation/threats-and-impacts/pf2050/pf2050-trapping-guide.pdf(external link)
How to get rid of invasive weeds:
- https://www.weedbusters.org.nz/(external link)
- SITE No 92 / February 2020 - Weed-busting(external link)
- https://www.trc.govt.nz/environment/farmhub/biosecurity-biodiversity/pest-management-what-you-need-to-know/(external link)
Regional rules and public responsibilities relating to pest plants:
Regional Pest Management Plan for Taranaki:
- https://www.trc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Plans-policies/PestManagementPlan/RPMP-Feb2018.pdf(external link)
Restoration planting guides for Taranaki:
Get in touch if you have any questions about running a BioBlitz at your school.