There are several courses available for people interested in pest control.
Animal Ecology online course — This is a free online course by DOC covering the differences between native and introduced animal species, how animals interact with each other, and why long-term predator control is vital.
New Zealand native animals have developed strategies to avoid detection; using camouflage, keeping still and being nocturnal. Sadly, these strategies do not deter exotic predators which have an acute sense of smell, operate at night, aren’t fooled by camouflage and easily catch burrow dwelling prey.
Introduced predators often breed rapidly, reproduce at an early age, have a short lifespan and recover well from setbacks. Against this, some of the most important New Zealand native animals are long-lived, slow and low breeders, and mature late, which makes them highly susceptible to knockbacks.
Along with details about the ecology of animal pest species (such as their home range, habits and preferred habitat), the course also shares best practice and introduces the standard equipment and control methods used by DOC. A key feature is video footage showing native animals being preyed upon, and animal pests interacting with traps. The latter challenges a few myths about where and how to set traps.
The course takes about one hour to complete.
Specialised training is now increasingly required by the agencies who contract out vertebrate pest control work. People in the industry must also have a thorough knowledge of the numerous regulations and requirements that govern such aspects as animal welfare, safe handling of toxic substances and environmental risk management.Available training opportunties include:
Animal Pest Control Methods course — provides an overview of animal pests, their impacts and control methods (including the principles these are based on, and the task specifications DOC has developed).
The 4-day course covers all the legal requirements for animal welfare and handling toxins. Working within the law is vital to allow pest control agencies and community groups continued access to the full suite of animal pest control methods
In particular, it describes the six control methods most commonly used in DOC, and their advantages and disadvantages.
National Certificate in Pest Management — for people involved in pest management run by Primary ITO.
Do you know of other courses in NZ for predator control? Contact us.