Backyard Trapping with Predator Free Port Hills

Placing a trap or traps in your garden or property helps us to build a network of traps across the Port Hills. As we get closer to our goal of 1 in 5 households, predators are very likely to encounter a trap. Backyard trapping has been shown to be a very effective tool in suppressing predators.

The Summit Road Society provides subsidised traps for sale. Sign up to our website, you will then receive an email putting you in touch with your local volunteer coordinator. Your local co-ordinator can sell you a trap and provide advice on the type of traps that best suit your situation, as well as any other advice or information that you might need.

As a backyard trapping programme in an urban area, we want to make sure that pets and kids are kept safe. We have done extensive research on traps and safety, and the traps we have chosen for our programme are widely used in urban areas across New Zealand.  If you have very young children, you may want to speak to a Predator Free Port Hills representative to help you choose the most appropriate trap. For more information on safety for pets and children, please read our Trapper's Guide to the Port Hills.  If you don’t want to handle dead pests, self-resetting traps are also an option.

You can also support Predator Free Port Hills by giving a donation (regular or one-off) or by volunteering to help with the project administration.

All the traps we recommend have passed the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) guidelines, which means they kill humanely and are easy to use and maintain.

Monitoring progress is important, so we ask all our trappers to record their catches. This helps us to assess the effectiveness of the programme and identify gaps.

If you are keen to get involved, please sign up through our website. You will receive an email with your local co-ordinator’s contact details.

Your local co-ordinator can:

●      Provide subsidised traps for sale

●      Provide guidance on the correct trap for your situation, where to place traps and how to manage and maintain them

●      Provide advice on how to record catches

●      Provide support to households already carrying out predator control

●      Keep everyone involved up to date on progress

●      Publicise the work and encourage others to join in

To learn more about trapping, visit our page on how to detect and trap predators and download our trapper's guide to the Predator Free Port Hills below.


Trap prices 2023

Victor rat trap or T-rex in a wooden tunnel$20
DOC200 for rats, hedgehogs, stoats and weasels$40
Trapinator possum trap$30
Goodnature A24 rat and stoat trap with counter$130
Predator Free Port Hills t-shirt (kids and adults)$25

Trap prices are heavily subsidised due to grants and donations to the Predator Free Port Hills project. Traps are only available to households on the Port Hills. To buy a trap from your local volunteer coordinator, please sign up to our website.

If you are outside the Port Hills, you can buy a trap from Predator Free NZ Trust's online shop or local trap suppliers.

Our Predator Free Port Hills t-shirts come in a range of sizes and help promote the project in the community. All proceeds to the project. Our thanks to Willow Cook who created the fantail design on the back when she was 12!


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Predator Free Port Hills t-shirts. Fantail design by Willow Cook.




Wooden tunnel with victor rat trap


Predator Free Port Hills is about communities taking action to make a difference. Help protect our native birds, lizards and insects by installing a trap in your backyard.




What Else Can I Do?

Whether or not you’re interested in trapping, there are lots of other things you can do to help our native species.

Backyard planting is something many of us can contribute. Planting can help to create an ecological corridor or bridge from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch City, which is a goal of the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust.

The Department of Conservation website has a handy section about conservation in your garden. It includes information on the best foods for different types of birds, how to make a simple lizard house, taking part in a monitoring programme like the Garden Bird Survey or the Great Kereru Count, and much more. Bird counts are a great way to measure the success of the various steps we all take to improve biodiversity, especially when we monitor populations over time.

As well as doing bird counts, you can also look out for fledged broods of fantails. Young fantails are darker than adults and will remain in a family group for several weeks. Seeing such groups is an excellent indicator of effective ship rat control.

Counts of invertebrates are great too. You can make bug traps with containers buried in the ground and then identify and count the bugs you find. A great activity for kids.

Monitoring pests is also be helpful.

There are a few other things you can do including:

  • Removing water and food sources or making them less accessible to rats
  • If you are providing water for birds, use a bird bath rather than a dish on the ground
  • Vermin-proof your hen-house
  • Pick up fallen fruit and pick fruit off your trees as soon as it ripens
  • Never put meat scraps in your compost. If other food scraps are encouraging rats and mice, consider composting food using a bokashi bin and keeping your compost heap for garden weeds and prunings. Alternatively you can rodent-proof your compost bin
  • Prune trees back from your house roof if that’s how rats or possums are getting in. 


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Fantail, top; kereru, bottom
(Veronesi, Lapsley Miller Wikimedia Commons)

Outside the Port Hills? How to get started with backyard trapping

Predator Free Port Hills is an ambitious project that aims to suppress and eventually eliminate predators from the Port Hills. That means we need all of Christchurch and the wider Canterbury area to start trapping as well. It’s going to take all of us working together to achieve our vision of Predator Free Aotearoa 2050.

There are a currently a small number of other backyard trapping projects in Christchurch and it won’t be long before Predator Free Communities are springing up all over the city and Peninsula. Please contact Predator Free Port Hills to enquire about other local projects.

If you would like to purchase a trap for your backyard, please visit the Predator Free NZ Trust online shop. They sell victor rat traps in wooden tunnels, DOC200s, trapinators and Goodnature A12  traps.

There are also a number of community groups that trap in reserves and other areas of high biodiversity value. If you are keen to join one of these groups, please contact Predator Free Port Hills for more information on what’s happening in your local area.

If you would like to start up a backyard trapping group in your neighbourhood, please visit Predator Free NZ Trust’s website for tips on getting started.

While our subsidised traps are only available to households on the Port Hills, potential and interested trappers from all across Christchurch and Canterbury are more than welcome to attend our public trapping workshops. Check out our Facebook page for details on what’s coming up.



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We send out regular email updates and publish an e-newsletter 3 times a year.
When you sign up your household to Predator Free Port Hills, you will be automatically added to our mailing list.
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