'Trap library' helps Canterbury locals protect native birds free of charge

A small community library in Canterbury has grown so popular, the organisers have been forced to open another one just kilometres down the road.

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Every trap is ethically approved - some kill - others just catch the pests in the area. Source: 1 NEWS

However, you don't go there to borrow books. Instead, customers can browse the hundreds of traps to take home to help with pest problems.

The traps found at the Trap Library are used to taget stoats, rats, possums and feral cats to help protect the tui which were reintroduced to the Banks Peninsula five years ago.

"It's great, because otherwise, you'd have to go and buy the traps so I guess people would have to do that, so the library's a brilliant idea," one said.

"I've lived here for about five years and meant to come here and get traps and never got around to it so today, I've finally got myself organised," another said.

A trap is borrowed for three months, and the service, run by volunteers, is all free of charge.

The library, tucked away in an unused bowling club, is made possible purely from donations, as well as funding from the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the local council.

Every trap is ethically approved. Some of them can kill, while others just catch. The bait is thrown in, too.

"I get people ringing me from all around New Zealand wanting to set their own trap libraries up, and so it’s become a bit of a blueprint," Trap Library founder Alison Evans said.

Currently, there are around six trap libraries nationwide, with numbers expected to grow.

"We've just opened a new trap library over in Akaroa to try and take the pressure off us a little bit."