The Braided River Project - Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust
The best way to eradicate pests in the long term is to prevent them from returning to a pest-free habitiat. New Zealand has some very successful areas that are predator free - using fences and natural borders - mainly Islands. In the vast mountains and valleys of Fiordland, the first thing is to find some natural barriers and work from there.
The enclosed nature of the Routeburn, being narrow at the entrance and surrounded by alpine peaks, means that creating an 'inland sanctuary', buffetted by the surrounding Dart valleys is a genuine possiblity. The Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust raises funds and uses them in various local projects to manage the predator numbers in these areas.
In late 2017 Glenorchy local Russell Varcoe built and set four new trapping lines, including 601 traps. in an article in the Otago Daily Times last December, Mr Varcoe said stoats had already been caught. The traps also target rats.
In the ODT article Mr Varcoe, known as Rusty, said "It is hugely important to trap them as the amount of stoats and rats roaming around our countryside is massive and the more control we can have the better. We are not going to be able to get rid of them this way, but at least we are keeping numbers down so there is less of an impact on our birds and lizards."
The trust was set up in 2013 and already funds predator control work beside the Routeburn Track in the upper Routeburn Valley and Hollyford Face.
We believe that the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust is the best vehicle to deliver results in this area and we are proud to be major investors in this project.Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust