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Wasp Wipeout: A community-led project aims to reclaim outdoors

Posted by Louisa McKerrow (Admin) 6 months ago Posted in Blogs

Vespula wasps are having a devastating impact on NZ environment, people and economy.

The Nelson Mail and Stuff yesterday launched Wasp Wipeout, a community-led conservation project that aims to significantly reduce German and common wasp populations in the Nelson-Tasman region this summer.

Wasp Wipeout was a 2016 WWF Conservation Innovation Awards (CIA) finalist and Vespex® was a 2015 WWF CIA winner. Read on for project introduction by Victoria Guild, Nelson Regional editor...

Anyone who has encountered a wasp knows how nasty the insects can be: they attack baby birds in their nests and fledging native bats, remove a huge amount of food sources from the ecosystem, as well as having awful stings.

This summer, Nelson Mail is mobilising the whole community to significantly reduce German and common wasp populations in our popular conservation, recreation and urban areas.

The battle plan is to use the extremely effective wasp bait Vespex (developed right here in Nelson) and place bait stations across the region.
 
To do this, Nelson Mail is leading a crowdfunding campaign to get more bait stations out across the region. The more we can raise, the more bait stations we can put out and the greater chance we have of solving Nelson's wasp problem.
 
German and common wasps
 
These wasps are introduced invaders that feed on our honeydew-rich beech forests, fledgling bats and native baby birds. The three national parks surrounding the Nelson region are prime breeding grounds for the wasps.
 
What is Vespex?
 
Vespex is a low toxicity, protein based bait that's laid in bait stations in late January and February, when wasps change to a protein-based diet. It's safe for bees and pets. Find out more at: www.merchento.com
 
Who else is involved?
 
The Nelson Mail is coordinating with groups such as the Department of Conservation, the Tasman Environmental Trust, Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council and pest control groups, to work collaboratively to knock back the wasp populations. We'll be publishing stories discussing the wasp problem and the difference we can make.
 
Five businesses have already committed $9500 to the project. If you'd like to join them, you can do so here.
 
Join the battle
 
If you'd like to do it yourself by organising your community, or neighbourhood, to bait in your area then you'll need an approved user to buy the bait and a couple of volunteers to put out the stations. One small bucket can cover 50 homes. All the details on how to DIY are here at www.merchento.com/vespex

Imagine visiting a national park, going for a bike ride, or holding a picnic or bbq at one of our popular outdoor spots without having to worry about pesky wasps ruining your day!

Join the battle and register your interest here.

For more information, check out: 

Why are we getting involved in wasp control?

Mini-documentary looking at the impacts of wasps

Wasp Wipeout: A community-led project reclaim our outdoors from pests

Wasp Wipeout: Frequently asked questions

This post was edited on Dec 20, 2016 by Louisa McKerrow

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