Kia ora! Without sounding too flowery, can I say what an honour it is to take on the new Kiwis for kiwi National Predator Advisor role and work alongside you all in the pursuit of growing our kiwi populations throughout New Zealand.
There truly are some inspirational people out there and my role is to better support the K4k people and the mahi being done on predator control.
I am not a trapper, I am a predator hunter, pure and simple, and I am damn proud to be one. I have been doing this for a long time now and every year I change parts of what I do as I learn new tricks. Sometimes I figure them out for myself through trial and testing and some I learn from others. We all have something to offer and sometimes the best thinking comes from people new to the game with fresh eyes.
When it comes to predator control, we are facing some challenges, and I will talk about them as we go down this road. It is important to be real, as much as excited and motivated. I will be producing some training aids that might be a bit different to, and at times goes beyond the normal stuff you will have read about.
As well as teaching, I want to help instil and maintain a passion for what we do around the traps and how we do it. There is no doubt that our predator control can be challenging physically and mentally, and it is important to recognise that. We are the front–line people, and my job is to help you be more effective.
The fact is that you will never know exactly if that individual stoat or ferret you caught would have killed a kiwi. That is the tough thing. We can’t read the future and we don’t get to know that stuff on a micro level. What we do know, though, is that if we remove enough of the right predator species at the right time, the bigger and better the long-term gains for our kiwi populations and other species.
You are going to hear me say lots of wee comments as we go down this road together and I want to start with this one:
It’s not what we remove that makes the difference, it’s what we leave behind
I hope that moving forward that I can help you in some way and add value to the great work that you are all doing out there already. I look forward to working with you and getting to know you.
In the meantime, good hunting, people.