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Published: 2010-08-17 00:00:00

The Whangamata community is better equipped to tackle rodent infestation problems in the harbour area as Environment Waikato has provided 40 rat traps and 30 bait stations to the Whangamata Harbour Care community group.

The traps and bait stations were handed over to the group yesterday at Whangamata wharf.

The group requested EW assistance due to a range of rat infestation problems at various points around the harbour, said EW’s biodiversity team leader Dave Byers. Rats frequent the harbour margins and are a major predator of ground nesting sea birds “We try to support community groups where we can when they take the initiative on pest control,” Mr Byers said.

Community group member Brian Grant said: “Maintaining of the traps and bait stations relies on volunteers for support and we are always looking for more.”

Mr Byers said EW’s 2010-11 community initiatives fund, which was available to support programmes such as Whangamata Harbour Care’s rat control, was currently open for applications till next month. There is up to $60,000 available in the fund. The maximum for individual grants is $5,000.

Mr Byers can be contacted on 0800 800 401 or at