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December 2019 Issue
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A pocket ranger

DOC rangers have shared their trapping knowledge in the new guide. Photo: DOC

DOC’s trapping skills have been collated and published for the first time in A Practical Guide to Trapping.

The guide teaches best practise trapping techniques for mustelids, rats and possums, and includes information never before published by the department.

Available in print and online, the free guide has been compared to having a ranger in your back pocket.

The guide has been downloaded more than 2000 times, and the initial print run of 5000 has been snapped up, with a second run set to be printed.

Jo Macpherson, DOC communities manager for Predator Free 2050, is “rapt” with the uptake.

“We are really encouraged by it – we knew there was a need out there, but this has confirmed for us that it has been really useful,” she said.

The guide was created in response to feedback from community-centric trapping courses delivered by Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and DOC. 

“People wanted take-home material from the course, so we developed the guide,” Macpherson said.

“We weren’t thinking it would be 60 pages when we started, so it’s been an evolving project, but we’re really happy with what we got in the end.”

Macpherson hopes the guide will help budding conservationists to become involved in trapping, and join community predator control groups.

“Some people might think there are no advantages to setting one trap, but we want people to understand it will all make a difference in the end,” Macpherson said.

The guide is intended to be updated when necessary to reflect evolving best practice techniques. Digital copies can be downloaded from


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