Those with the most passionate and strongly held views tend to have the loudest voices in public forums – but do they represent what most people think? Or do the strident calls of a few distort our perception of public opinion relating to an issue? A paper published in 2014 examines New Zealand … [Read more...] about Public attitudes to pest control – what does NZ really think?
This is not about an amazing scientific breakthrough in new toxins or lures. It doesn’t reveal a science-fiction-like technological invention or genetic modification to wipe out predators. Such things happen rarely in the world of science. But what the following research projects show is that the … [Read more...] about Catching rats – getting the basics right
In a paper just published online (and not available in print until 2017), some of New Zealand’s top conservation scientists review the prospects for control and eventual eradication of our key mammalian pests. John Parkes, Graham Nugent, David Forsyth, Andrea Byrom, Roger Pech, Bruce Warburton and … [Read more...] about Pest-free future under the microscope
Rats are quick and nimble. Snails... not so much. So our native snails are very much at the mercy of introduced rats, should rats choose to eat them. What’s more, there are a surprisingly large number of native snail species to protect. New Zealand has, in fact, one of the most species-rich … [Read more...] about Rats – are they gastropod gourmets?
Landcare Research scientists have published some fascinating research recently looking at the damage possums do the forest canopy and the surprisingly long time it takes for larger trees to recover. The first paper was published in Ecology and Evolution earlier this year and full access is freely … [Read more...] about Landcare Research takes to the tree tops in latest possum research
If we knock back ferrets and feral cats will rabbit numbers soar? It is a concern that’s frequently raised, particularly in farming areas where rabbit control is already an issue. As rabbits are the main prey of ferrets and feral cats, it seems intuitively logical that rabbits will thrive without … [Read more...] about What about the rabbits?
Science isn’t just about the big breakthroughs – although they’re great when they happen. Mostly it’s about challenging assumptions, testing alternatives and finding new and better ways to do things. Change is incremental and improvements are constantly being integrated into the way things are … [Read more...] about GPS offers aerial application alternative
Just because you’re not catching anything, doesn’t necessarily mean all predators have been eradicated. Being certain that an area is completely predator-free is a challenge in island eradications where certainty is needed before endangered species can be reintroduced. But the problem also applies … [Read more...] about Rapid eradication assessment – with online app
Trap-wary stoats got caught out by a change in predator control regime according to research just published in July this year. The research, carried out by DOC scientists and published in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology, took place in the 9800 ha Whangarei Kiwi Sanctuary. The results showed why … [Read more...] about Research shows what’s working for kiwi and kaka
Peanut butter has long been used as a lure for rats. Possums have a fondness for the scent of cinnamon. But are they the all-time favourite foods of rats and possums? Researchers at Victoria University of Wellington used chew cards to check out what really tickles the tastebuds of two of our more … [Read more...] about Better baits and better trapping