Cost verses the reality, is it possible to trap the Tongariro National Park and create a few new jobs?
A fully qualified and ultra-fit professional trapper could set up to 200 traps a day on a ground strata. In aerial strata this tally would be 50 to 65% less. If it were possible for one person to set and service 200 traps for a week in the aerial strata then in 6 months he/she would achieve 4800 trap nights and cover 364 ha.
To complete the entire contract in 6 months with the above daily inputs per person, a team of 110 staff would be needed. The staff would need to work five days a week doing an eight to ten hour days and in all weather. It is a legal requirement that traps be checked within 12 hours of sunrise. This means once a trap is set it must be checked every day until it is removed. If extreme weather is forecast which is likely to put front line staff at risk, it is expected that contractors unset their trap lines until the risk has passed.
The above figures are theoretical only and best case scenario. They cannot take into account the many variables and are based on farm land trapping rates. They assume all trappers could work at the same rate. More critically they don't take into account the other objective of population reduction
There are far too many variables to suggest how long a new entrant might take to kill this many possums. What is a fact is that one trap can only capture one possum per day. Each trap needs a trapper to walk to the trap site. Beyond this it becomes a matter for contractor management to determine how they will resource their operation in order to meet the contract spec. From the figures above it can be seen that ground control in aerial strata would demand huge manpower inputs.