After 14 years of spending weekends coaching and refereeing his kids’ football teams, Paul decided it was time to do something different. And that something different was trapping!
This month Paul celebrates his 5 year anniversary, having started trapping in 2018. He says he got into trapping as he had been interested in the predator free idea and was compelled by the notion of our native wildlife suffering and wanting to give them a fighting chance.
As we all know, trapping can become addictive. Paul started off helping Ian at Predator Free Mt Vic, and his garage became the storage spot for all the traps going out to Hataitai residents. From there his passion for volunteer trapping just grew and is now a big part of his life. Paul coordinates not only Predator Free Mt Vic, he is also our project lead for the Phase 2 buffer Berhampore Golf Course project and manages a trap line in the town belt with Mt Vic Vermin trappers.
He has noticed significant change in the wildlife visiting his neighbourhood and backyard. In winter he regularly has 2-3 tui on his bird feeder, kererū are often sitting on his fence (watching the tūi feeding). He also spends a lot of time dog walking and mountain biking in the town belt and enjoys seeing the kākā in the branches.
Paul has been watching what’s happening in Miramar and admires the work that Dan Henry and the team have been leading. “It’s good for the community to be engaged in this work – if everyone does a little, together we can achieve a lot” Paul says.
In Paul’s five years of volunteering, the Mt Vic group has given out nearly 650 traps. He says he’s excited about the wider predator free 2050 goal and is looking forward to seeing what technology brings.
“We’re learning a lot already and I’m hoping technology will help us better understand the habits of these animals.”
“It’s our big hairy audacious goal and I believe New Zealand can achieve it!,” Paul said.
If you’re interested in getting involved, you can do as little or as much as you want - a couple of hours a month can make a big difference.