Bringing Birdsong to the Valley
School CatchIT is a 4 session programme being taught at West Auckland Primary Schools by volunteers Karen Colgan and Kay Wight. It was conceived by Professor Rachel Fewster and Liz Maire based at Rodney and has been modified for the unique West Auckland environment. It has the support of the Auckland Council who provide free monitoring cards and safe setting mouse and rat traps as part of the Pest Free Auckland initiative
The programme teaches year 5 and 6 students how to think like a scientist whilst learning about New Zealand’s natural environment and how to protect it. All their data is sent to Professor Fewster and converted to bar graphs for them to view and manipulate to find the best bait, the best location etc in their search to protect vulnerable NZ species against introduced predators.
To date it has been taken to Henderson Valley, Oratia, and Waitakere Primary Schools in the foothills of the Waitakere ranges thus complimenting the ever increasing areas of predator control in West Auckland
To date the pupils in the School programme in Rodney and West Auckland over the past 4 years have caught 1200 mice, 700 rats, 450 possums, 32 hedgehogs, 10 stoats and 10 weasels!