Expert student trappers from Mahurangi College gave Pest Free Warkworth a lesson in how to effectively trap possums this month.
The group of 16 and 17-year-olds, who have been in charge of eradicating pests from the riverside at the back of the college, turned their attention to Sesquicentennial Park.
They took Russell Cullen and Alan Cocker, of Pest Free Warkworth, on a guided tour with them.
They identified trees that showed signs of possum activity, including a “possum highway” of branches the pests have used to cross the Mahurangi River.
The students mounted spring-loaded traps onto the trunks of trees and applied a mix of milk powder and icing sugar in trails on the ground that led to traps.
In addition to being attractive to possums, the powder is easy to see in moonlight.
A blue bait with fruit and aniseed was also left inside the traps.
Teacher Colin Binsted says to catch a possum, trappers have to think like one.
He says some of the student trappers, including rural-based Fletcher Sceats and Gus Berger, know more about trapping than him.
Colin also wants the community to know traps used by the students do not use poison, and baits have been selected so as not to attract cats.