Student launches pest-trapping survey

The fight for Wellington's native wildlife is spreading to the suburbs, and residents are being asked for their help.

Biologist Rachael Abbott says nature reserves will never be free of pests like possums and rodents unless trapping becomes more common in surrounding areas.

"Rats are phenomenally abundant in urban and suburban fringes," said the Victoria University doctoral graduate.

"We're basically preserving a fantastic environment for them...and they're phenomenally quick breeders that will expand to fill areas free of them."

As part of an internship funded by Callaghan Innovation and run out of Wellington-based trapping firm Good Nature, she launched a survey today asking people about their desire to snare pests.

She is not just after greenies either. People looking to trap unwanted critters to protect their pantry or garden are also important. "If we get everyone using the traps, we'll have a fantastic effect."

The results will allow her to understand what drives people around the country to catch invasive species, and how important factors - like cost, ease of use, and humanity - are.

The survey can be found here.

The Dominion Post