Waikato Regional Council has announced it will invest $150,000 in 44 pest animal and plant control projects as part of the latest round of its Small Scale Community Initiatives Fund (SSCIF).
The fund was set up to help local communities and individual landowners undertake ecological enhancement through pest animal and plant control, and this year received 99 applications seeking a total of $345,484.
Successful applications ranged from $323.96 for pest animal control by an individual landowner in Thames to $4999.59 to Pukawa Wildlife Management Trust to expand its possum and rat trapping network around the Pukawa settlement on the southwestern shore of Lake Taupo.
Natural Heritage biodiversity officer, Andrew Thomas says preference is given to applications that seek to look after the region’s special natural areas.
“The fund helps volunteer groups and landowners with the costs of materials required to undertake pest management. Being able to support them financially to buy the tools can make a real difference in trying to keep on top of pests,” he said.
“In this funding round we are helping with the purchase of a range of traps for rats, stoats, possums and herbicide for pest plant control.”
Mr Thomas said it was heartening to see the extend of local ecological enhancement efforts.
“We have people who are just starting to do predator or pest plant control on their properties to projects that have been operating for over 50 years.”
SCCIF is funded though the uniform annual general charge rate and $150,000 is available every year. Applications can be made for up to $5,000, with the funding round falling in June.
The regional council also recently granted $54,000 from its Environmental Initiatives Fund to six community groups working to enhance and/or benefit the environment or provide environmental education.