Nelson Leader : September 26th 2013
9 THE NELSON LEADER, SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 NEWS 126 TRAFALGAR STREET NELSON PH 03 5467532. AND 217 QUEEN STREET RICHMOND SALE Shoes up to 50% off MGP scooters 20% off All sunglasses 30% off Clothing up to 50% off Havaianas jandles 20% off 5632716AA Dogs taught to leave weka alone All a big yawn: Dave Butler's dog Bella after aversion training. Learning curve: DOC dog trainer/hunter Mike Lawler with Vanessa Hartz and one of her dogs, Matilda, at Eve's Valley reserve last Saturday. Eight more dogs are weka wise after attending a weka aversion training course designed to stop canines from chasing and attacking the cheeky native birds. The Department of Conser- vation has trained about 60 dogs to stop taking an interest in weka in the last couple of years in the Nelson region. It held its most recent train- ing course on Saturday at the DOC Reserve at Eve's Valley. DOC biodiversity ranger Ian Cox said courses were usually run every six months and wor- ked well. Most dogs learned not to chase weka after one session, with a few dogs coming back a second time for the training to be reinforced. It's pretty effective. We are not getting the same dogs back again and again.'' Ian said dogs are trained with a training collar and dead weka are used in the course. Weka numbers in the Nelson region are bouncing back, with reports of weka seen in gardens along the Richmond foothills, the Brook Valley, the Gram- pians and out to Atawhai. There are a large number of volunteer groups undertaking predator control in the Nelson region. Ian said with the weka coming to town, more people's dogs were coming into contact with weka while out walking in the footh- ills. Weka were even possibly com- ing through their gardens. Ian said dogs chased weka for a number of reasons. I think it's just the way they move. Weka always look like they are doing something wrong. It's just a natural prey instinct.'' People who wanted more information on weka aversion training or wanted to book on to the next course should contact DOC or Ian at DOC's Motueka office.
September 19th 2013
October 3rd 2013