Feral cats feast on Australian reptiles

There are a lot of cats in Australia – researchers have calculated that the total number of feral cats in largely natural landscapes averages 2.07 million (varying between 1.4 million in drought and average years to 5.6 million after prolonged and extensive wet periods in inland Australia). Then there are the strays (an estimated 0.72 … Continue reading Feral cats feast on Australian reptiles

Fenced in felines – keeping cats and wildlife safe

Barbara Clarke’s cats, Sammy and Smudge enjoy a fantastic view over the Pukawa bush reserve from their favourite sunspot on the deck. But because they’re indoor cats that’s as close as they get to the rich birdlife and insect life in the adjacent forest. Pukawa is located roughly halfway between Turangi and Taumarunui. Barbara and … Continue reading Fenced in felines – keeping cats and wildlife safe

Trials test feasibility of removing pigs, cats and mice from Auckland Island

Trials are in full swing down in the Southern Ocean exploring whether it’s possible to rid Auckland Island of its three remaining introduced predators – pigs, cats and mice. Following the successful eradication of mice from Antipodes Island, the Department of Conservation has turned its attention to the last island within the New Zealand Subantarctic … Continue reading Trials test feasibility of removing pigs, cats and mice from Auckland Island

City cats – what don’t we know and how can we find out?

Cats, cat management and the impact of cats on conservation – it seems that everyone in New Zealand has an opinion and a significant proportion of us own at least one companion cat – but what is actually known about the multiple roles of urban cats in New Zealand? It is becoming an increasingly important … Continue reading City cats – what don’t we know and how can we find out?

Tracking cats on Rakiura/Stewart Island

While PFNZ Trust focuses on 5 key introduced predator species (possums, rats, ferrets, stoats and weasels), we acknowledge that domestic pets – both cats and dogs – are also introduced predators and are potential killers of native wildlife if allowed to stray. Wandering dogs can and do kill kiwi and penguins when they encounter them. … Continue reading Tracking cats on Rakiura/Stewart Island

Mystery, migration and mucous membranes: 5 curious facts about the shining cuckoo

A unique summer visitor to Aotearoa, the shining cuckoo (pīpīwharauroa) only graces our shores in the warmer months, migrating to the tropics once our weather starts to turn cooler. But even in this short window of time, they certainly make an impression with their intriguing behaviours. From unusual breeding strategies, to quirky culinary tastes, here … Continue reading Mystery, migration and mucous membranes: 5 curious facts about the shining cuckoo

Native lizard poster captures illustrators heart

Aotearoa New Zealand might be known as a ‘land of birds’ but we’ve teamed up with local illustrator Erin Forsyth to highlight native lizards in a beautiful new poster He mokomoko nō Aotearoa. Predator Free NZ Trust and Erin aim to raise awareness of Aotearoa’s lizard species, from the little-known Sinbad skink to the raukawa … Continue reading Native lizard poster captures illustrators heart

Omaha community is looking out for its dotterels

Fondly referred to by some as ‘Dots’, New Zealand dotterels are appealing little shore birds, their sharp ‘cheep’ call signalling their constant alertness to possible danger. They need to be watchful. Dotterels nest on the ground, where the camouflage of their colouring gives some protection against aerial predators but not against mammals. Camouflage isn’t much … Continue reading Omaha community is looking out for its dotterels

Backyard Legends: Brad Windust from Bay Bush Action

For 10 years, Brad Windust has been trapping introduced predators in sections of the Ōpua State Forest. The Ōpua State Forest spans 2000 hectares and is a coastal lowland Kāuri forest in the heart of the Bay of Islands. This forest is home to rare flora and fauna populations that are seriously under threat. Introduced … Continue reading Backyard Legends: Brad Windust from Bay Bush Action

Photographing our lesser-known natives: A Q&A with Sam the animal man

Wildlife photographer Sam Purdie is capturing our lesser-known natives on camera. He hopes that by photographing them, it will raise the awareness of these special and often endangered species. Sam is a self-described ‘animal man’ who has studied zoology and is passionate about all of our native fauna – great and small.  We’re speaking with Sam … Continue reading Photographing our lesser-known natives: A Q&A with Sam the animal man

Taranaki field trips

We have identified three field trips that are available in the Taranaki region for schools. RELATED Nationwide field trips Lesson plans and activities Help your wildlife thrive at school Predator control guide for schools Native taonga of New Zealand Courses for secondary school students

5 ways to make your garden a safe haven for native species

Love the idea of attracting native wildlife into your backyard? Here are 5 ways to make your garden a safe haven.  1. Trap rats Attracting native species to your backyard is great but make sure it’s a safe place for the birds, bugs and lizards that visit. Rats prey upon native birds, chicks and eggs, … Continue reading 5 ways to make your garden a safe haven for native species

Trapinator possum trap

The Trapinator is suitable for low-density possum control. With its one-movement-set arm and easy baiting system, the Trapinator was specifically designed to control possums in Aotearoa New Zealand. ON THIS PAGE How to use the Trapinator Troubleshooting Where to buy the Trapinator How to use the Trapinator The video below gives a step-by-step tutorial on … Continue reading Trapinator possum trap

Goodnature A24 rat trap

If you don’t want to handle dead rats or reset a trap too often, the Goodnature A24 self-resetting rat trap is a great option.  ON THIS PAGE How to use Goodnature A24 Top tips Trouble shooting Where to buy an A24 How to use the Goodnature A24 First, use the Rodent Detector kit that comes … Continue reading Goodnature A24 rat trap

Summary of baits

We have written an at-a-glance summary of baits available in New Zealand with details about each bait. ON THIS PAGE Overview Summary of baits Brodifacoum Bromadiolone Cholecalciferol Coumateralyl Diphacinone Pindone  PAPP Overview Most of the toxins below are anticoagulants. The main benefit of these over other toxins is that the time it takes to work means that … Continue reading Summary of baits

Courses for secondary school students

We have identified the following predator control courses available for secondary schools around Aotearoa New Zealand. ON THIS PAGE Papa Taiao Earthcare EcoQuest Te Rarangahau Taiao Northland Regional Council  Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) Whenua Iti Outdoors Papa Taiao Earthcare Predator control course, NCEA level 2 or 3 In this two day course, with … Continue reading Courses for secondary school students

1080: an overview

1080 is one of the most effective tools we have available in New Zealand to control introduced predators, especially over large or hard to reach areas. On this page we outline how and why it is used, including the benefits and risks. ON THIS PAGE Overview What is 1080? Why use 1080? Is 1080 used … Continue reading 1080: an overview

Target possums in the bush

Possum control may feel daunting over vast tracts of land, but having effective systems in place will make a big difference. Below we summarise the pros and cons of trapping, shooting and/or using bait stations for targeting possums. ON THIS PAGE Possum control options Bait stations for possums Trapping possums in the bush Night shooting … Continue reading Target possums in the bush

How to monitor native bats

New Zealand bats/pekapeka are our only endemic (unique to New Zealand) land mammals. There are three bat species and all have declined in population over the centuries since humans arrived. ON THIS PAGE Our bats Bat behaviour How to monitor bats Bat detectors Other tips for effective bat spotting Where to share your data Bring … Continue reading How to monitor native bats

How to monitor lizards, frogs and tuatara

Herpetofauna are reptiles and amphibians from a particular region. New Zealand’s herpetofauna species include lizards/ngārara (skinks and geckos), frogs/pepeketua, and tuatara. ON THIS PAGE How are they monitored? Native frogs/pepeketua Native lizards/ngārara Tuatara How to encourage frogs, lizards and tuatara on your property How are they monitored? There is no ‘one size fits all’ method … Continue reading How to monitor lizards, frogs and tuatara

Mātauranga Māori

Ko ahau te taiao, ko te taiao, ko ahau.  I am nature; nature is me.— Māori whakataukī (proverb) ON THIS PAGE What is Mātauranga Māori? The importance of Mātauranga Māori How to incorporate Mātauranga Māori Examples of projects incorporating Mātauranga Māori  What is Mātauranga Māori? ‘Mātauranga Māori’ directly translates as ‘Māori knowledge or wisdom’. However, it … Continue reading Mātauranga Māori

Maukahuka Pest Free Auckland Island: Will it work?

This week marks the publication of the Maukahuka Pest Free Auckland Island project report on the technical feasibility of eradicating pigs, cats and mice from Auckland Island. This is the most significant milestone since the eradication of pigs from the island was first raised in 1982. Over the last four years, the Department of Conservation … Continue reading Maukahuka Pest Free Auckland Island: Will it work?

Breeding wrybills face multiple challenges

Wrybills, the little shore birds with a bend in their beak, are only found in New Zealand. They breed on the South Island’s braided rivers with well-camouflaged eggs and chicks to help protect them from flying predators. But camouflage is no protection against mammal predators who hunt by scent. Does predator control help improve survival … Continue reading Breeding wrybills face multiple challenges

Native taonga of New Zealand

New Zealand’s native species are taonga. In te ao Māori, taonga applies to anything treasured or prized including things of social and cultural value. Our native birds, lizards, bats and invertebrates like wētā are a part of our national identity and are part of what makes us unique. ON THIS PAGE What is predator free … Continue reading Native taonga of New Zealand

Rakiura Stewart Island

Predator Free Rakiura aims to completely remove possums, rats, feral cats and hedgehogs from Stewart Island/Rakiura. ON THIS PAGE Stewart Island/Rakiura Predator Free Rakiura Stewart Island/Rakiura Stewart Island/Rakiura is an island of untouched landscapes, remote wilderness and distinctive ecosystems. The Rakiura National Park was established in 2002 and covers 85% (157,000 ha) of the island … Continue reading Rakiura Stewart Island

Hawke’s Bay projects

Predator Free Hawke’s Bay is made up of three restoration projects that bring together community and landowner conservation efforts to enhance their native biodiversity. ON THIS PAGE Poutiri Ao ō Tāne Cape to City Whakatipu Mahia Poutiri Ao ō Tāne Poutiri Ao ō Tāne was established around the mainland island at Boundary Stream and covers the … Continue reading Hawke’s Bay projects

Predator pitfalls for live-trapped lizards

A common way to monitor what insects or lizards are around, is to use a live-capture pitfall trap which skinks, geckos and ground-based insects then fall into. With lizards, slices of pear or sometimes petfood are used to attract them to the trap. But lizards and insects might not be the only species to take … Continue reading Predator pitfalls for live-trapped lizards

Waikato pest distribution, detectability studied

A recent study by Brandon Breedt and Carolyn King provides the first estimates of the proportion of the Waikato Region occupied by each of the target introduced mammal predator species. The results offer a warning to pest managers that pests are more widespread and harder to remove than is commonly assumed, and that the absence … Continue reading Waikato pest distribution, detectability studied

Island eradication in New Zealand

Aotearoa is an island nation with four large islands surrounded by hundreds of offshore islands. We have 890 islands bigger than one hectare and 334 of those are over five hectares. It is on these islands that the vision of a predator free New Zealand begins. ON THIS PAGE Small beginnings Shifting perspectives on predation  … Continue reading Island eradication in New Zealand

What is Predator Free 2050?

Currently, Aotearoa New Zealand is experiencing a biodiversity crisis. We have the highest rate of threatened indigenous species in the world.  ON THIS PAGE Why should Aotearoa NZ be predator free by 2050? Why is the 2050 vision important? Who are the key players? Why should Aotearoa New Zealand be predator free by 2050? Aotearoa … Continue reading What is Predator Free 2050?

Weasel facts and control tips

Weasels are small, active hunters that target small animals and insects. They are less common in NZ than stoats. ON THIS PAGE How did they get here? What do weasels look like? Where do they live? What do we know about weasel behaviour? What impact do they have? How you can help control weasels How … Continue reading Weasel facts and control tips

Ferret facts and control tips

Ferrets prey on invertebrates, lizards and birds. They are active at night and mainly hunt rabbits and rodents, but have contributed to the decline of native birds like the kiwi, weka and whio/blue duck, and the extinction of kākāpō on the mainland.  ON THIS PAGE How did they get here? What do ferrets look like? … Continue reading Ferret facts and control tips

Stoat facts and control tips

Stoats hunt day and night, move quickly, and prey on our native birds, insects, and much more – including animals bigger than themselves. ON THIS PAGE How did they get here? What do stoats look like? Where do they live? What do we know about stoat behaviour? What impact do they have? How you can … Continue reading Stoat facts and control tips

Cat facts and control tips

Aotearoa New Zealand has the highest rate of cat ownership in the world. Cats are unusual in that they are a predator of our native species, as well as being popular pets and companions. It is increasingly common for owners to keep their cats at home to keep them safe and protect local wildlife. Responsibly … Continue reading Cat facts and control tips

Rat facts and control tips

Rats eat wētā and other insects, snails, frogs, lizards, tuatara, birds, birds’ eggs and bats, as well as the flowers, fruits and seeds of plants. They breed rapidly and destroy vulnerable plants and wildlife. ON THIS PAGE How did they get here? What do NZ’s rats look like? Where do rats live? What do we … Continue reading Rat facts and control tips

Know your target predators

Before embarking on any predator control, it’s important to know which introduced predators you’re dealing with and also understand their behaviour and habits. That way, you can choose the most effective and cost-effective control methods. Introduced predator facts Read our predator facts, with information on possums, rats, stoats, ferrets, weasels, and feral cats. Select One … Continue reading Know your target predators

Bringing poo to an island near you…

Even ocean-going birds need to come ashore to breed and when they do, they bring a gift from the oceans with them – nutrient-rich guano (otherwise known as seabird poo). It’s a fertiliser bonanza, especially when those seabirds nest in large, breeding colonies. Terrestrial plants and wildlife thrive on these so-called ‘seabird islands’ because of … Continue reading Bringing poo to an island near you…

Longterm banded dotterel study shows predator control benefits

Annual bird counts show that banded dotterels have been declining on our braided rivers for many years. But there’s good news amongst the bad. A recently published analysis of longterm population trends, using data from 1962 to 2018, reveals just how big that decline has been – and how one riverbed in Mid-Canterbury is going … Continue reading Longterm banded dotterel study shows predator control benefits

Burning questions, conservation conundrums – kiwi researchers share insights on key research challenges

What don’t we know? What challenges need further investigation? In January of this year, Predator Free 2050 Ltd announced two funding initiatives – one for doctorate and post-doctorate research at tertiary and research institutions and the other for ‘Products to Projects’, where the aim is to ‘help fast track the design, research and development, testing, … Continue reading Burning questions, conservation conundrums – kiwi researchers share insights on key research challenges

Hidden haven off Coromandel’s 309 Road

Take a drive along Coromandel’s spectacular scenic 309 Road and there’s a spot, somewhere around halfway between Coromandel town and Whitianga where a tarseal street branches off from the famous winding gravel 309. A steel security gate stops the curious from venturing any further without an invitation – so what actually lies beyond? Believe it … Continue reading Hidden haven off Coromandel’s 309 Road

Lizards counted on predator free Kāpiti Island

What a difference 20 years makes! The lizards of Kāpiti Island have now had 20 years of living rat-free and researchers Jennifer Gollin, Nic Gorman and Doug Armstrong have been checking out the little reptiles to see how much better they’re doing. The report on the results of their island survey in the New Zealand … Continue reading Lizards counted on predator free Kāpiti Island

Mamaku Point ranger doesn’t let age hold him back

Ernie Mason remembers that growing up, helping his parents break in their farm, he was always a kid for the bush… always hunting. Its a love that’s stayed with him throughout his working life. At 72 years old Ernie is still going strong, working around 15 days per month as biosecurity ranger at Mamaku Point … Continue reading Mamaku Point ranger doesn’t let age hold him back

Farm between two forests rich in rare wildlife

Dan Herries manages Taramoa Station in Puketitiri, Hawke’s Bay, a 564 hectare sheep and beef farm which lies between two significant and beautiful blocks of forest – an 800-year-old, unmilled podocarp forest known as Ball’s Clearing Scenic Reserve and Kaweka Forest Park where once-burnt faces have now regenerated with manuka and softwoods and original red … Continue reading Farm between two forests rich in rare wildlife

Rats, mice and 264,457 tracking records shed light on rodent dynamics

Researchers Susan Walker, Joshua Kemp, Graeme Elliott, Corey Mosen and John Innes used 264,457 rodent tracking records collected quarterly from 23,709 tracking tunnel stations in forests across the length and breadth of New Zealand over an 18 year period from late 1999 to late 2016 to get a clearer picture of how ship rat and … Continue reading Rats, mice and 264,457 tracking records shed light on rodent dynamics

Tūī numbers treble in predator control study

When you remove predators from islands and restore forest habitat, the expectation is that native forest birds will flourish and that the new ‘improved’ conditions may favour native birds over introduced species. But is that what happens? Researchers John Ralph, Carol Ralph and Linda Long looked at how bird populations on the seven islands and … Continue reading Tūī numbers treble in predator control study

Farm biodiversity map highlights falcons, kākahi and glowworms

Mark and Felicity Brough have created a biodiversity map of their sheep and beef farm at Paerua near Waitomo, in the central King Country. It shows where on the farm their resident falcons are nesting, which streams have kākahi (freshwater mussels), where longfin and shortfin tuna are found and where the glowworms live. “Two or … Continue reading Farm biodiversity map highlights falcons, kākahi and glowworms

Little penguin breeding success includes ‘triple brooding’

Little penguins in Kaikōura have been doing their bit to try and keep species numbers buoyant – with multiple nesting per breeding season and some birds even resorting to a bit of partner-swapping. It all helped bring successful fledgling numbers up to 1.66 chicks per pair, according to researchers, Lindsay Rowe, Jody Weir and Alastair … Continue reading Little penguin breeding success includes ‘triple brooding’

What’s happening up in the hood?

Sanctuary fences keep predators out – but they’ve also become a popular ‘highway’ for ship rats travelling around the sanctuary exterior. Rats have discovered that the rolled steel hood (designed to stop mammals climbing over the fence), also makes a great way to get around, safely out of reach of their own predators like stoats … Continue reading What’s happening up in the hood?

Winton company takes on Motu Ngahere restoration project

On the Southland Plains near Winton, Motu Ngahere (‘Island of Bush’) is one of the very few original native bush remnants left in the area – literally an ‘island’ in the rural landscape. The name was chosen after seeking consultation with local iwi. “It’s the last lowland rata/broadleaf podocarp forest left in Central Southland, other … Continue reading Winton company takes on Motu Ngahere restoration project

Auckland Islands introductions included horses, possums, chickens

Did you know there were once horses on the Auckland Islands? Possums were deliberately introduced too but didn’t last long. Hardly surprising. It’s a harsh environment and not remotely like their warm Australian homeland. Scientists investigating mammal predators in the Auckland Islands group have switched to studying history recently, looking at the very early records … Continue reading Auckland Islands introductions included horses, possums, chickens

Tīeke – legendary teller of fortunes and guardian of treasure

Tīeke have a legendary reputation as guardians, weather-predictors, fortune-tellers and guides, although their saddle-like markings are said to be a sign that they once displeased Māui-pōtiki and were marked when he grabbed them with a hot hand and singed their feathers. Long ago, when tīeke (saddlebacks) were common, they often followed large flocks of whiteheads … Continue reading Tīeke – legendary teller of fortunes and guardian of treasure

Identifying impediments to PF goals

Achieving Predator Free 2050 goals will take more than just a scaling-up of eradication efforts according to researchers Duane Peltzer et al from Landcare Research (Lincoln) and the University of Canterbury. They look beyond economic and technological feasibility to identify the key impediments we need to overcome, in a paper recently published in the Journal … Continue reading Identifying impediments to PF goals

Latest round of predator free communities announced

We are pleased to announce the addition of another 11 communities to our Predator Free Community programme — taking the total number of communities we support to 66. The latest round of funding was highly competitive. The majority of applications were from well organised, highly motivated communities wanting to make a difference in their backyards. … Continue reading Latest round of predator free communities announced

Latest ‘Public Perceptions’ survey gives insight into predator control views

The results of the latest Public Perceptions of New Zealand’s Environment have just been released and, as with the previous survey in 2016, the research includes a section produced in collaboration with Predator Free New Zealand Trust and the BioHeritage Challenge, Ngā Koiora Tuku Iko, investigating public perceptions and opinions relating to predator control. “The … Continue reading Latest ‘Public Perceptions’ survey gives insight into predator control views

Researchers surprised by petrel numbers on ‘refuge’ islands

A survey of 71 islands in southern Fiordland in the summer of 2017, by researchers from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Department of Conservation, found forty breeding colonies of three petrel species spread across 35 of those 71 islands, according to a report just published in Notornis, the scientific journal published … Continue reading Researchers surprised by petrel numbers on ‘refuge’ islands

New book tells story of ‘Disaster on Four Small Paws’

Dr Carolyn King has spent a lifetime studying New Zealand’s introduced mammalian predators and is recognised as an international expert on mustelids. Meticulous historical and scientific research, along with a lifetime of practical field experience come together in her latest book, Invasive Predators in New Zealand: Disaster on Four Small Paws, just published and available … Continue reading New book tells story of ‘Disaster on Four Small Paws’

Hot News from the Cold South: An update on Maukahuka Pest Free Auckland Island

As 2019 ends, so does the feasibility stage of the Maukahuka Pest Free Auckland Island project. This ambitious project proposes to eradicate pigs, mice and cats from Auckland Island (46,000 ha), the largest island in New Zealand’s World Heritage listed Subantarctic region. This is a significant project for Predator Free 2050 and success would complete … Continue reading Hot News from the Cold South: An update on Maukahuka Pest Free Auckland Island

Kaikoura red-billed gull study reveals predator impacts over 52 years

If you park up at the beach with a feed of fish and chips it can seem like red-billed gulls are common and thriving. But 52 years’ worth of observations and monitoring data from New Zealand’s biggest gull breeding colony on the Kaikoura Peninsula tells a somewhat different story. Mammal predators are part of that … Continue reading Kaikoura red-billed gull study reveals predator impacts over 52 years

Would summer eradication of rodents work for Auckland Island?

Approximately one-third of New Zealand’s islands are now free of all invasive mammals. Could Auckland Island be next? Predator control and eradication operations are often carried out in winter – when predators are hungry and uptake of bait likely to be greater. But when it comes to eradications of sub-Antarctic islands, like Auckland Island, the … Continue reading Would summer eradication of rodents work for Auckland Island?

Future conservation role possible for urban lizard gardens

City dwellers and urban lizard gardens could play a significant role in future skink and gecko conservation in New Zealand, according to research just published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning. Turning part of your garden into some desirable reptile real estate could really make a difference. Researchers Christopher Woolley, Stephen Hartley, Rod Hitchmough, … Continue reading Future conservation role possible for urban lizard gardens

Breeding season underway for yellow-eyed penguins – 2019 Bird of the Year

It’s ‘all go’ for yellow-eyed penguins – 2019 Bird of the Year – and those who help protect them. ‘Penguin Season’ is underway in Otago and Southland as staff and volunteers from the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust search for this year’s nests in North Otago, Otago Peninsula and the Catlins. Dave McFarlane is Field Manager for … Continue reading Breeding season underway for yellow-eyed penguins – 2019 Bird of the Year

New toxin combination tested for rats and possums

Up until the 1950s, most pest control toxins for vertebrates, including rats, were fast-acting. While a quick death for pests is a good thing humane-wise, the issue was, rats didn’t necessarily die. They’d try a little toxin, quickly feel the effects and sensibly refuse to have anything more to do with it, before they’d consumed … Continue reading New toxin combination tested for rats and possums

MIRO helps out overlooked banded dotterels

For the last 20 years or so, an area of gravel has been slowly forming at Robinson Bay on the Eastbourne foreshore, just across the harbour from Wellington City. Then about 9 years ago banded dotterels (pohowera/tūturiwhatu) arrived and began trying to breed on the beach, right in front of Eastbourne’s houses. The shingle expanse … Continue reading MIRO helps out overlooked banded dotterels

EnviroMate100 bait station delivers time-controlled ‘dinner dishes’

Shane Hyde of Kaeo (Whangarei) left school at 16 and spent years working on predator control and weed control projects, but ill health in 2006, after spraying herbicides, forced him to rethink how he approached the physically demanding outdoor work. The next few years weren’t easy – but ultimately those challenges inspired Shane’s development of … Continue reading EnviroMate100 bait station delivers time-controlled ‘dinner dishes’

Possum numbers surprise Canterbury farming family

Duncan and Tina Mackintosh farm White Rock Mains, near Rangiora in North Canterbury – a 1056 hectare property brought by Duncan’s great-grandfather back in 1909. Earlier this year they were Canterbury regional winners of the Ballance Predator Free Farm Award, in recognition of their predator control efforts. The farm is a mix of sheep, beef … Continue reading Possum numbers surprise Canterbury farming family

Review of conservation tools under development

The Journal of Ornithology has just published a review of the conservation tools being developed for New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 eradication programme. The paper’s authors, Elaine Murphy (DOC and Zero Invasive Predators – ZIP), James Russell (ZIP and University of Auckland), Keith Broome (DOC), Grant Ryan (Cacophany Project) and John Dowding (DM Consultants) are … Continue reading Review of conservation tools under development

Biosecurity essential to success of Project Island Song

Project Island Song is a Bay of Islands wildlife sanctuary that celebrates the native subtropical habitat, lush with vegetation and alive with birdsong. Thousands of trees have been planted, and five rare and endangered species have been reintroduced with more reintroductions planned. The project is a partnership between community conservation group the Guardians of the … Continue reading Biosecurity essential to success of Project Island Song

Bait station modification baffles bait-stealing possums

For community groups carrying out predator control it can be a real struggle to get rat numbers down to a level that allows small native birds to successfully breed in spring. One frustrating issue can be possums cleaning out the bait in your bait stations before the rats get to it, meaning large amounts of … Continue reading Bait station modification baffles bait-stealing possums

Ross and Eleanore Webber determined to beat possum come-back

Ross and Eleanore Webber farm Angus beef on a 195-hectare property at South Head, overlooking the Kaipara Harbour and have been trapping on their farm since establishing two QE II covenant blocks 15 years ago. “We’ve got more proactive in the last 2-3 years,” says Ross, “Especially trapping possums. Possums were eliminated on the peninsula … Continue reading Ross and Eleanore Webber determined to beat possum come-back

The results are in: Where to next for Pest Free Auckland Island?

Four months on from the first boat leaving for Auckland Island, all the field teams are home safely for the winter. A whirlwind summer has seen great gains in knowledge about the island and has given valuable insights into how the ambitious plan to remove pigs, cats and mice might work. Field trials to inform … Continue reading The results are in: Where to next for Pest Free Auckland Island?

Stealthy stoat eludes Hastings Golf Club trappers

There’s a stoat stalking the greens at Hastings Golf Club and members are determined to catch it. In fact, the stealthy stoat has inspired the start of a comprehensive trapping programme for other introduced predators, including any rats, possums or hedgehogs hanging out on the wilder fringes off the fairway. Trapping project coordinator, Murray McNae, … Continue reading Stealthy stoat eludes Hastings Golf Club trappers

Flee or freeze – lizard responses to new mammal predators investigated

Our native skinks and geckos have evolved with predators that rely on eyesight to spot them – predatory birds, other lizards and tuatara. For a lizard, having camouflage skin and standing very, very still is a great defence if something bigger is trying to see you – not so great, however, if your predator is … Continue reading Flee or freeze – lizard responses to new mammal predators investigated

Otuwhero Wetland Trust cites ‘sporting benefits’ of volunteer work

“Community conservation work should be designated a sport,” Helen Lindsay believes, “Then it might get more funding.” Helen is Chair of the Otuwhero Wetland Trust and cites the (sporting) benefits of being part of a conservation volunteer team. “It has good social benefits,” she says. “You’re working with people who have the same interests, it’s … Continue reading Otuwhero Wetland Trust cites ‘sporting benefits’ of volunteer work

Monitoring methods trialled in Whangamarino wetland

Monitoring is an essential part of measuring the success of a predator control programme, but monitoring methods used in forests may not be directly applicable to wetlands. Tracking tunnels may not work, for example, where water levels fluctuate significantly. It was an issue that faced Department of Conservation researchers Craig Gillies and Matthew Brady at … Continue reading Monitoring methods trialled in Whangamarino wetland

Wildlife Hospital patients show scars of narrow escapes

Injured and sick wildlife have been pouring into Dunedin’s new wildlife hospital since it opened just over a year ago. Some are sick and starving, others have had a close encounter with a shark, while a significant number of native wildlife were wounded during a narrow escape from people’s pets. Each patient has a story … Continue reading Wildlife Hospital patients show scars of narrow escapes

Weka and 1080 – costs and benefits assessed

Weka are omnivores with a curiosity for anything new, which makes them vulnerable to 1080 poison. They’re known to swallow the types of pellets used in 1080 operations and for that reason, learning more about the costs and benefits to weka has been a recent research priority. Department of Conservation scientists Joris Tinnemans et al, … Continue reading Weka and 1080 – costs and benefits assessed

Insects get eaten too – so does predator control help grasshoppers?

Insects get eaten too. Scientists have reported that invertebrates have been found in 10-30% of cat guts and scats in the Mackenzie Basin, suggesting high country invertebrates, including some rare endemic grasshoppers, could be vulnerable to introduced mammal predators. Christchurch-based researchers, Jennifer Schori, Richard Maloney, Tammy Steeves and Tara Murray investigate whether reducing mammal predators … Continue reading Insects get eaten too – so does predator control help grasshoppers?

PekaPeka bird feeder is a winner for its Dunedin designers

Harvey Penfold is a product design student, in his final year at Otago Polytech, Tahu Mackenzie is LEOTC (Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom) Education Officer at Orokonui Ecosanctuary just north of Dunedin and together they’ve designed an innovative bird-feeder. The PekaPeka was designed and tested as part of a Citizen Science project that is ongoing … Continue reading PekaPeka bird feeder is a winner for its Dunedin designers