Clyde pupils set traps to catch pests

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Rats, mice and possums beware.

Clyde School has bought 10 new pest traps, as well as two self-setting ones, using $770 donated by Alexandra Rotary Club, as part of the school’s Enviroschool’s programme.

Teacher Alistair Banks said about 15 pupils from years 3-6 were involved in the programme.

They set up a couple of the traps last Thursday on school grounds in areas rats and mice were likely to frequent.

“Out of the 10 traps, two stay at school and eight will kept in the Clyde area,” Mr Banks said

“The plan is to catch rats and mice as they go for skinks.”

Pupils will take it in turns to take the traps home to be used to catch predators.

Rotary president Charles French was on hand for the trap-setting and was given a hand-made thank-you card from the children.

Mr Banks said buying the traps followed a pest tracking and monitoring programme the children carried out last year.

They had found tracks in the Project Gold native bush area near the Clyde bridge.

“The children also made skink hotels from roof tiles that were nice and hot and skinks warmed up in them, last year,” Mr Banks said.

“We go over once a week to check for skinks,” he said.

Earlier native plantings and the installation of bird feeders are encouraging more native birds into the school’s trees, including tui.

COReap and Enviroschool representative Anna Robinson also attended the trap setting.

“The children are learning about the ecology of our native fauna and introduced predator species and recognising that in order to enhance the survival of our native species, the predators need ideally to be eliminated from that picture,” Ms Robinson said.

“The traps they are using are deemed humane traps.

“They kill almost instantly with very little distress to the animal in question.”