Predator lesson replaces planned camp for students


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A cancelled camp turned into a new learning opportunity for the pupils at Ratapiko School in December last year.

Ratapiko School principal Lisa Hill says while the pupils were disappointed their planned visit and camp at the Waingongoro Hut on Mt Taranaki was cancelled due to a 1080 drop being undertaken in the area at the time, she was pleased the Department of Conservation (DoC), who were responsible for the toxin being dropped in the area, sent one of their workers to visit pupils and talk to them about how DoC works on pest control.

"We learnt they have 2000 traps set around the Stratford area, and they can't place any more as there aren't enough funds. They explained trapping isn't as economical as the poison is and they need to do the best they can from the funds they have."

Lisa says the pupils learned a lot from the visit, and they enjoyed learning more about the mustelids which inhabit the mountain. "This completed a project one of our reading groups had done, investigating the types of predator which live on the mountain."

Lisa says she looks forward to working with DoC in 2017 on a few projects, adding the school plans to visit the national park in the future, "once the 1080 programme is complete".

- Stratford Press

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