Predator-free hub Mystery Creek is joining forces with local protection groups to extend its reach and help further the Waikato’s conservation goals.
Conservation and protection have been a large focus for the NZ National Fieldays Society over the past 12 months. With an investment programme and support from DOC and the Waikato Regional Council, the Society undertakes predator control on the entire 114ha Mystery Creek property.
The Society is teaming up with Predator-Free Hamilton and Cambridge to create the Predator Free Mystery Creek Community Hub.
The Community Hub will bring together local neighbours, iwi, businesses, and schools, to educate, inspire and provide support for their own biodiversity and predator control efforts.
Fieldays has secured funding from the Waikato Regional Council Environmental Initiatives Fund to run the hub for two years.
“As a Community Hub, we will provide predator traps for our neighbours and will offer ongoing support and training days,” says National Fieldays Society Chief executive Peter Nation. “We would like to see this as a place where in the future, schools can visit and learn more, with a focus on science and innovation in the environmental space.
“Critically endangered long tail bats and long finned eels reside at Mystery Creek, and on neighbouring properties, and kaka often visit too.
“The hub is designed not only to protect these species, but also to encourage the wider community to get involved in predator trapping.
“The society is well connected with extensive networks. This initiative will give us the opportunity to leverage these relationships to champion conservation and protection in the greater Waikato region.”
More than 75 traps have been installed across the property so far, with more scheduled to go in. The traps are currently serviced weekly by four community volunteers, with more than 80 rats, 140 possums and 31 hedgehogs caught since August 30 2019.
The team uses the Trap.NZ App to record every catch, keep an accurate record of where they are catching different pests and create valuable reports from the data.
DOC is also installing bat monitors on the property to detect bat activity and determine where they are roosting.
The Society’s conservation and protection efforts are part of their long-term commitment to sustainable practice, for which they recently won the Social and Environmental Sustainability Award at the 2020 Westpac Waikato Business Awards.
Fieldays is the only ISO 20121 certified sustainable agricultural event in New Zealand. The Society incorporated the Sustainable Events Standard into its management procedures in 2012.