Empowering locals to safely and effectively trap pests, Rotorua Canopy Tours is hosting a free trapping session for urban and rural landowners during Conservation Week next Wednesday.

New Zealand has the highest rate of endangered species in the world, with more than 25 million native birds killed each year by predators such as mice, rats, stoats, ferrets and possums.

Rotorua Canopy Tours conservation manager Gary Coker said the idea for the trapping session came to him after seeing headlines about Rotorua's 'rat problem'.

"There's not a lot of information out there to help people eradicate pests from their property.

"The trapping session will have two parts - we'll teach people how to identify if they have a pest issue as many landowners may be unaware, and secondly, we'll teach them how to safely and effectively eradicate their property of the pests.

"We'll be bringing along a few different types of traps so attendees will be able to familiarise themselves before using it.

"We'll also be educating people on what New Zealand could look like if it were pest free and why it's so important for individuals to trap pests."

Rotorua Canopy Tours will also be visiting nine primary schools to educate them on New Zealand's native birds and the conservation efforts that need to take place.

In July 2016, the New Zealand Government formally adopted a target to make New Zealand predator free by 2050, eradicating all pests that threaten New Zealand's native birds, which Mr Coker says was a huge achievement for those passionate about conservation.

"For Conservation Week this year, I took inspiration from the efforts of Zealandia and Polhill Reserve in Wellington. Zealandia is the world's first fully-fenced urban eco sanctuary. The neighbouring Polhill Reserve, for the first time in a century, is seeing native birds return to the tree canopies thanks to a spill over from Zealandia.

"Local users of Polhill Reserve are protecting the area by trapping pests and undertaking bush restoration initiatives.

"It's a great example of how a community's understanding of traps, and a passion for New Zealand's native birds can make such a difference.

"Our trapping session and primary school visits is our way to start empowering locals - we all need to take action now if we hope to have a predator free nation by 2050."

The trapping session will be a one-hour seminar held at the Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park, and will be followed by a walk to the glow worm grotto on the shores of the Blue Lake.

What: Rotorua Canopy Tours pest trapping session, followed by Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park glow worm visit
Cost: Free
When: 6pm Wednesday 14 September, 2016
Where: Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park
Who: Landowners - both urban and rural

RSVP's essential: RSVP online here, email gary@canopytours.co.nz or phone (07) 343 1001.