Huia Trapping Group is a collaborative effort to protect the native wildlife of the area by trapping and removing predators such as rats, mustelids and possible to create a predator free environment.

Background information

The Huia Trapping Group was established in 2018 by long time trappers Sam McClatchie, Brendan Boughen, and Dave Minty, who are the administrators of the group. Our goal was to bring together neighbours who were already involved in predator control, and those who would like to be involved, in a mutually supportive group. More experienced trappers provide advice and help to solve problems.

With support of Auckland Council and Te Kawerau ā Maki we also carry out pest and predator control in public spaces. Our public land projects are ever expanding with the goal to meet Cornwallis projects from Kaitarakihi and continue through Huia onto Little Huia.

We have sourced a large variety of traps that have been loaned to new trappers, and used to increase our spatial footprint. We continue to obtain grants to fund new initiatives, like monitoring bird song and wasp control or expanding the number and variety of traps that we can deploy.

We are particularly interested in assessment of new trapping and monitoring technology. We use the scientific expertise in the group to analyse trapping data and conduct applied research. We have surveyed trapping activity in the Huia community using online polling and attend the annual Karamatura Family Farm day where members are available to discuss all manner of predator control and show of a range of equipment available.

As of 2024 the group also runs a free rat trap programme for new members to try and plug the gaps. The vision is to see all houses in Huia have a rat trap in their back yard.

We gratefully acknowledge financial support by Ecomatters, Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Auckland Council, Huia Rangers, Predator Free NZ and the ongoing support of Andrew Stein and Rowena Gilchrist.

Join us on Facebook!

Check out the data on Trap.NZ

This article in the Medium magazine "Towards Data Science" describes some of our trapping efforts, incorporating videos to illustrate animal behaviour around traps.

Improving the world for birds, one predator at a time.

This article in the same magazine describes a trial use of the Cacophony bird monitor as a tool to monitor trapping success at Huia.

Dawn chorus, morepork owls, and predator control

Give A Trap Donation Page - Huia Trapping Group

Huia Trapping Group administrators
The Scientist, Sam McClatchie, is all about the data. © S. McClatchie
Brendan & Kiersten.jpg
The Exterminator, Brendan Boughen, is a cartoonist, but he's deadly serious about rats. The Weedbuster, Kiersten Boughen, is a psychotherapist with a passion for weed control. © B. Boughen
The Mechanic, Dave Minty, can build whatever you need to get the job done. © D. Minty
Here's how we add value to the citizen science data we are generating.
Tracking our trapping effort over time:
Huia trapping group effort over time
Trapping effort in Huia has increased over the past 4 years. The plot shows traps that have captured at least one predator. © S. McClatchie
Finding a way to monitor the success of our trapping in improving the world for birds:
Testing the Cacophony bird monitor to detect effectiveness of our trapping
We are using the Cacophony bird monitor to test whether it is a useful tool for monitoring the success of neighbourhood trapping. These are some of the data that we have collected so far at Huia. This monitoring is continuing, and will expand as we acquire more bird monitors. © S. McClatchie
Comparing the catch efficiencies of our different trap types:
Using our trapping data to compare trap efficiencies
We are interested in the relative catch efficiencies of different traps, and are using our data to compare DOC200 and Goodnature A24 catches of rats and mice. © S. McClatchie
Photo gallery