Often in pest management projects community members ask questions such as “How risky are these traps?” and “how do we catch predators but not harm our domestic cats?” The reality is that there are many ways of minimising the risk to domestic cats, but these are still valid and understandable questions.
To help our communities feel confident about the pest trapping proposed in the Halo Project the LCT is embarking on a project with four local schools to understand “how safe is my cat?” Working with environmental educators from Orokonui ecosanctuary – Tahu Mackenzie and Clare Cross - children from Port Chalmers, Waitati, Purakaunui and Karitane schools will track their own pet cats with GPS collars, as well as assessing camera footage to evaluate what cats do when confronted with baited (but not set) traps. This is an exciting project, and one that promises to enrapture children and their families. We look forward to collaborating with Orokonui Ecosanctuary to deliver this project, and to engaging with our local schools in hands-on applied science. The results from this project will be shared with the wider community at the end of the year through a variety of forums. A big thanks to the MBIE Curious Minds for their support with this.