Community trapping groups helping New Zealand reach Predator Free 2050 goal

Community trapping groups are putting in the mahi to help New Zealand reach its Predator Free 2050 goal.

But they need more bird lovers to join the fight against pests - and the front line is your backyard.

Predator Free Riccarton leader Jade Humphrey is a woman on a mission to bring birdsong back to the 'burbs.

"We just want to get as many traps out there as possible. At the end of the day every rat that is gone, removed from our area will be birds saved and other important native species as well," she said.

The goal is for one in every five households to have a trap. They're easy to get your hands on and designed to keep your pets safe.

"As soon as people hear about us, they can basically get a trap at our next distribution day which we host quite regularly. And then they come and pick up their trap and we give them health and safety and they're away," Humphrey said.

Trappers are encouraged to check and rebait their traps consistently. Traps work best in places where pests feel safe, rather than wide open spaces.

"A lot of people report seeing a rat running along their fence line and stuff. But quite often that's when a rat's been spooked and it's running away making its escape," Humphrey said.

Once the trap is set, the waiting game is on.

"It requires a lot of perseverance, it's a bit like fishing, right? You don't just put your line out and expect to get a fish straight away," Humphrey added.

Backyard trapping compliments the predator-control work done by volunteers like Predator Free Port Hills community and backyard trapping coordinator Marie Gray.

"We need predator control through our neighbourhoods, we need them for our parks, for our bush, for our schools, for our farmland. We need it all across the landscape," she said.

And trappers can pick up more than just pests from getting involved.

"It's great for community connection for wellbeing, just feeling like you yourself are contributing to these big issues that are facing us around biodiversity loss and climate change," Gray said.

Because a bird in the bush is worth lending a hand for.