Predator Free Arrowtown was formed in early 2017 to help control pests and predators around Arrowtown and the wider area. This group is concerned primarily with reducing the numbers of mustelids, rodents, and possums in the Bush Creek catchment area. This area contains some of the best preserved ecological values in the basin, and is home to multiple different native species, including rifleman, bellbirds, and brown creepers. The project aims to expand the existing trap lines through local business involvement. So far the project has attracted enough funding from local businesses to acquire 110+ traps, which target a mix of different pest species.
An additional component of the project is to get local Arrowtown households involved in trapping in their back gardens to help create a pest free zone within the town. Further inclusion from the surrounding golf courses will help expand this area of control, and allow native species to recover. Eventually the project looks to expand and connect trap lines run on Mt Soho, as well as incorporate areas that will be revegetated with native plants providing increased areas of habitat, such as Feehly Hill and Tobin’s Face.
The project currently has two main trapping lines running up the Bush Creek track and Brow Peak, with further branch lines to be added as traps become available. Monitoring lines are being added across the valley and ridge lines in the form of tracking tunnels.
Traps currently in place and frequency of checking
DOC200 10 @ Fortnightly
DOC150 46 @ Fortnightly
A12 5 @ Monthly or more frequent
A24 53 @ Monthly or more frequent
Usage of area
The Bush Creek catchment area forms part of the natural backdrop to Arrowtown. An access track for both walkers and cyclists heads up the valley just over five kilometres to a saddle overlooking the basin. This track goes through a mix of natural and exotic bush, including remnant mountain beech forest, tussock grasslands, and grey shrubland. The track is popular with mountain bikers who are dropped off at the Coronet Ski Field and follow the track downhill though the valley.
The first year objective of the group is to get as many local businesses involved as possible through purchasing traps for the projects as well as disseminating information about the importance of the natural values of Bush Creek. Traps that are purchased by businesses are set out and monitored by a group of volunteers. Monitoring is also undertaken by volunteers.
The three year objective it to expand the trap line coverage for control of stoats to the entire Bush Creek catchment (approximately 250 traps), as well as include Arrowtown households into setting up traps in their back gardens. Additional financing for the purchase of DOC 250’s will be sought to control ferrets, which are known to be present in the area. Further control of possums and goats will also be undertaken to allow the native vegetation to begin to regenerate.
Contact person/s and details:
Benjamin Teele – Main contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Teele – E3 Scientific
Glenn Davis – E3 Scientific
Anyone who lives or spends time in Arrowtown and who wants to get involved with conservation of the area should get in touch. There are always opportunities to be involved, including checking traps and monitoring lines. No experience needed.