By Trudi Ngawhare, DOC Ranger, Gisborne
Ahh, spring! Bringing new growth and new life… and unfortunately the onset of animal pests such as stoats, ferrets, possums and rats.
So it’s fitting that, during the winter months, DOC Ranger Joe Waikari, goes around the East Coast region talking to schools, kohanga, early childhood centres and marae about the need to protect native wildlife from these predators.
Joe takes his taxidermy friends along, so kids can get up close and personal with both the ‘nasties’ and our precious taonga.
He shows kids how traps work and why it is important to protect our native species.
Makauri School, Tolaga Bay Area School, and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti are taking the talk further by setting DOC200 traps at Waihirere Domain in Gisborne; along the Uawa River, by Tolaga Bay Area School; and at Wharekahika’s Oneroa Beach.
“We teach kids that everyone plays a part in looking after the environment. The more we learn about our native species, the better equipped we are to become great kaitiaki (guardians)” says Joe Waikari.