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Project Janszoon stoat trapping set up with student support

January 18th, 2013

Stoat traps being flown into Abel Tasman National Park

A Project Janszoon 65-kilometre network of stoat traps is now in place to protect native wildlife in the Abel Tasman National Park interior.

The network of 565 stoat traps is an initial step in creating a core upland protected area for native species over 4500 hectares around Canaan Downs and the Wainui Valley.

Golden Bay High School and Waimea College students have lent a hand with establishing the trap network. Fifty trap boxes have been built by students at each school to house the DOC200 stoat traps.

Project Janszoon is a partnership between the privately-funded Project Janszoon Trust and the Department of Conservation that aims to transform Abel Tasman National Park's ecology by 2042, the park's 100th anniversary.

Project Janszoon Director Devon McLean said the core protected area, encompassing beech forest above 700 metres, was to be intensively managed to provide a safer environment for native species.

'The trap lines will initially help protect native wildlife in this area such as weka and kaka from stoat predation. When we are able to start reintroducing species in future years, it is intended they would be released into this upland protected area.

'Abel Tasman National Park is very special to the people of Nelson Tasman and we are keen to involve the community as much as possible in the Project Janszoon ecological restoration. We are pleased Golden Bay High School and Waimea College have contributed through building trap boxes.'

Waimea College Hard Materials teacher Paul Daubney said 18 Year 13 carpentry students had between them built the 50 stoat trap boxes and it fitted with the college encouraging student participation in community projects.

'The students made the decision to take on the making of the trap boxes and were keen to do it because it would be beneficial to the park. By making the traps they could add to the environmental clean-up of the park.

'The students feel a sense of accomplishment and that they have contributed to a very good cause.'

A range of students took part in the trap box building at Golden Bay High School.

Project Janszoon was launched in February last year with initial funding from a philanthropic New Zealand family which wishes to remain anonymous. It is named for the middle name of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman to symbolise restoring the ecological heart and essence of the park.

The Project Janszoon Trust aims for the park's 2042 100th anniversary, which is also the 400th anniversary of Abel Tasman's 1642 visit, to celebrate an outstanding conservation success story in the transformation of the park's ecology.




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