The Rees Hotel - as part of its ongoing company-wide commitment to sustainability and the environment - has joined the newest addition to the local urban trapping movement family.
It is now a funder of the ‘Frankton Traps’ group – an extension to the burgeoning trapping line drawn around Lake Wakatipu.
The rollout is part of a wider Queenstown predator-free project run by the Wakatipu Wildlife Trust.
As part of its sponsorship, the luxury lakefront property has helped install five brand new DOC200 traps. Ultimately 50 will be deployed around the track.
“We wanted to build on ways to restore our natural environment. I reached out to the Trust to see how we could help. Together we’ll achieve such a positive impact by regenerating the local bird population and forest through this initiative,” says Katharina Graf, Human Resources Manager at The Rees Hotel.
The traps will target stoats and rats that prey on the local native bird population. They’ll be cleared fortnightly by a team of 20 community volunteers.
Each wooden box is screwed shut, opened only with the correct screwdriver. No poison is contained in the discretely hidden traps that meet all the safety requirements of Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Graf says the traps are humane and compliant with standards set by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC). While being big enough to let predator targets in, they’re small enough to exclude domestic animals.
“Pets can’t physically fit into the tiny hole at the entrance to the trap. Nor fit in the next cavity which requires turning a corner,” she says.
Dawn Palmer, an Ecologist and Environmental Consultant for the Trust says, “What I’ve noticed with this predator-free movement is it’s another reason for the community to come together with a common goal towards protecting their back yard.”
“When you pair trapping up with the restoration of plants which The Rees has also been doing, the birds come back. We’re going to see more and more of them.”
Internationally The Rees has been recognised by Skål, part of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, for its responsible tourism practices.
Last year for the third time running, it retained another 5 Star Grade - Hotel Qualmark and Gold Tourism Business Sustainability Award.