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Automatic self setting traps in Fiordland

Self setting trap made by Goodnature in Eglinton Valley, Fiordland
The gas-powered self setting traps can revolutionize the way how we manage remote areas of conservation land. Two years ago  field trials with the first generation of self setting traps began. Now, new traps with significantly improved design has been deployed to Fiordland to fight predators.

The new model A24 developed by Goodnature Limited  in Wellington is designed to fight rats and stoats ( a possum version called an A12 also exists), it is smaller, lighter and it can reset itself 24 times - the number was doubled in comparison to the first generation. It means that a single trap can kill 24 animals before  it needs to be repowered again. Even though the traps are double  the price  of   traditional  trap boxes they  can pay  for themselves over the long-term due to less servicing requirements. Unlike current traps that need to be reset after every single catch, the A24 needs to be serviced  only once in several months or even a year and therefore saves a significant amount of human labour and related costs. One of the main advantages of the trap is that it is ready to kill another nasty immediately one after another and it does not need to wait for a person to reset it. Therefore they are ideal for remote areas with difficult access - either deep Fiordland valleys or areas inaccessible through winter.
DOC Te Anau Biodiversity Ranger Gerard Hill and Martin Sliva deploying new stoat and rat traps A24
The first 17 of the new model A24 traps were recently (May 2012) deployed  in the Eglinton Valley and in Milford Track area. Seven of them were donated to DOC by inbound travel agency True Travel Ltd, following last year's donation of 30 conventional trap boxes. The donated traps are part of Eglinton valley stoat and rat control
(managed by Te Anau DOC biodiversity team) and help to protect mohua, bats, kakariki and other species living in Eglinton valley. Even though the traps are still in stage of long term trials they already proved to be successful in other areas of New Zealand and there is a big hope they can significantly improve the effectiveness of stoat, rat and possum control.