Research reveals participating in conservation community groups doesn’t just give back to nature; it gives back to you and your community. University of Auckland researchers Rosie Gerolemou, James Russell and Margaret Stanley conducted a study in Auckland delving into the dynamic between community group participation and social capital. They measured differences in self-identified social capital … Continue reading Chillest vibes: conservation group members are rich (in social capital)
That little line above certain vowels makes a big difference when it comes to the pronunciation and meaning of te reo Māori. Illustrator Matt Russell takes a closer look at why tohutō (macron) matter when it comes to te reo taiao (language of the environment). Enable macrons on your phone (Android and Apple) and computer … Continue reading Comic: macrons matter
Today marks a milestone as we grant an unprecedented $92,000 to support 23 remarkable predator free community initiatives. We select outstanding Predator Free Communities from around the country and give them funding to purchase trapping equipment. These backyard groups make up the heart and soul of the Predator Free 2050 mission. The funding will fuel … Continue reading Funding milestone ignites Predator Free Communities across Aotearoa
If we can understand how invasive species use different habitats, we can better predict how their populations might change due to climate change. In a published paper in Biological Invasions, Joanna Carpenter and colleagues looked at how food availability and temperature affected the distribution and density of ship rats in Aotearoa New Zealand forests. Spoiler … Continue reading Study reveals surprising insights on rat behaviour in NZ forests
A recent study has found high exposure rates of toxoplasmosis in a kiwi population that does not share its habitat with cats. Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or toxo), a parasite found primarily in cat poop, is a cause of sickness and even death in native wildlife. We’re talking kiwi, kākā, kererū and even Māui and … Continue reading Unseen threat: sanctuary kiwi exposed to parasitic disease from cat scat
Every trapper has felt the same frustration at checking a trap and finding the bait gone, but the trap still set. Who is the culprit, and how can you stop them? Peanut butter, mayonnaise, Nutella and dried meat are tasty treats to lure in rats or possums, but they aren’t the only ones who enjoy … Continue reading Is your bait disappearing, but you’re catching nothing?
Are you a pro at spotting tūī and kererū? Here are five more native backyard birds to get to know. Use appearance, sounds and behaviours as clues for identification. Taking note of the birds in your backyard is more than just fun. The Garden Bird Survey needs you to identify and count birds to help … Continue reading What bird is in my backyard?
More kinds of toroa (albatross) breed in Aotearoa New Zealand, than anywhere else in the world. Get to know them this World Albatross Day and try our quiz. Predator free islands in our subantarctic region stand as the last remaining strongholds for toroa survival worldwide. Their breeding grounds are safe thanks to massive predator eradication … Continue reading A tour of toroa
Recently several animal welfare, conservation organisations and government agencies submitted their thoughts on national cat management. It may be surprising that there was a lot of agreement – here’s what they had to say. Parliament’s Environment Select Committee asked the organisations to share their views on the Petition of Erica Rowlands, requesting the mandatory registration … Continue reading Animal welfare agencies’ views on cat management
Stuff them in a roll or slap them on a piece of white bread; sausages are a Kiwi classic. Stoats and feral cats have a taste for them too. In a recent trial, researchers investigated whether these introduced predators would find and eat sausage bait, and also if native species would also be attracted to … Continue reading Sausages on the menu: trials target feral cats and stoats
If you’re looking for a new feathery friend to obsess over, then look no further than the tīeke (saddleback). There’s more to them than striking black feathers, a chestnut saddle and ruby-red wattles. Here are five reasons this bird deserves a spot in your heart, in no particular order. 1. They are the ultimate underdogs … Continue reading 5 reasons the tīeke should be your favourite bird
Described as “murderous saveloys with legs”, new research reveals weasels cannot be underestimated as a threat to native wildlife. It is suggested we pay closer attention to the recovery of native species rather than simply counting the number of predators killed. The impact of stoats is well documented, but DOC ranger Jamie McAulay and wildlife … Continue reading Bird count not body count: weasel study suggests recovery of native species more important than predator kill count
It’s Easter, and supermarkets are jam-packed with chocolate eggs. The association of these symbols of new life with Easter is imported from the northern hemisphere – most of our native species have already finished their egg-laying business as winter approaches. As you crack into yet another chocolate egg this long weekend, spare a thought for … Continue reading Quiz: Guess the egg…
Communities from cyclone-hit areas will receive funding to rebuild their predator control efforts in our latest round of funding. A slice of $50,000 is on the way to 13 community groups as the grassroots predator control movement grows. Special mention goes out to those communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. Amid the chaos, destruction and repairs, … Continue reading Communities unite to rebuild predator control efforts after cyclone
Muggy, boggy and waiting to be drained – our past opinions on wetlands have not aged well. Wetland restoration could be vital to tackling biodiversity and climate change crises – here’s why. Quantifying the benefits of wetland restoration Humans drained 90% of New Zealand’s wetlands in the name of prosperity, progress and pasture – not … Continue reading What if there were giant sponges that could mop up carbon, floods, and house native species?
As climate change and introduced mammals push native birds into higher mountain forests researchers at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research wondered if there was enough food to survive and breed. As Dr Anne Schlesselmann et al. explains in this Journal of Ecology research paper, the answer is complicated and more research needs to be done. … Continue reading As native birds flee to high ground to escape predators, will they have enough food to survive?
As birds lose their old feathers to make way for new healthy ones, they are stressed, vulnerable and grumpy. What can you do about it? Plenty. Imagine having to change your clothes in public, at the park, the bush or the beach. Then imagine it taking a few days, even weeks, to entirely change your … Continue reading Naked & Afraid: help birds during moulting season
From possum nightclubs to garden transformations, these were the most popular stories published by Predator Free New Zealand Trust this year. 1. It’s business time: stoat mating mania and what you can do about it “From the moment they open their eyes as babies, female stoats are almost certainly already pregnant.” That’s an opening line … Continue reading Most read posts of 2022
We present a completely subjective, non-exhaustive, contestable list of the top backyard wildlife encounters of 2022. Predator control, responsible pet ownership and native planting are vital ingredients in turning your patch of land, no matter the size, into a place that birds, bugs and lizards want to visit – on their terms. Feeding animals, getting … Continue reading Top backyard wildlife encounters of 2022
Gift inspiration for buying for yourself or the wildlife lover in your life. Not just nature-themed, many of these present ideas give back to conservation too, which means you’ll surely end up on Santa’s nice list. Predator Free New Zealand cap Pick up the peak of fashion with our newly released cap to keep the … Continue reading Seasons tweetings: give a nature-friendly gift this year
Two years ago, Finn Giddy was working his first serious job out of high school digging trenches, unsure of his career prospects. Now, he’s the first graduate of the predator free apprenticeship programme – and his career is off to a roaring start. Reflecting on the journey that brought him to his dream career working … Continue reading First-class: predator free apprentice graduate becomes second-in-command
This Halloween, spare a little love for symbols of the spooky season: spiders. Supposedly scary but mostly misunderstood, these eight-legged creatures are vital to nature. There are more than 2000 species of pūngāwerewere (spider) in Aotearoa New Zealand, and most of them are endemic (i.e. as unique as the kiwi and kākāpō). Look beyond their … Continue reading Not creepy, just crawly: spiders are cooler than you think
Like many of us, Māia Gibbs grew up never having seen a kiwi in the wild. Now, she gets up close and personal while helping save the kiwi as a Predator Free NZ Trust apprentice. Holding a fluffy, pear-shaped ball of feathers with strong talons Māia, 21, is living the dream of many in a … Continue reading Kiwi calling: Predator Free NZ Trust apprentice Māia Gibbs at home on the range
Restoring native wildlife to urban areas is gaining momentum. Another 13 community groups across the motu (country) will receive a portion of $50,000 to realise their trapping dreams. The Predator Free New Zealand Trust helps outstanding predator free communities buy bait stations, chew cards, and traps and to spread the word in their communities. Over … Continue reading Funding awarded to bring birds and bugs back to backyards
Part 2 of our series Cat catastrope: Why are we behind Australia in managing cats? Curfews, leash walking, registration, and desexing. These are just some of the ways Australia is addressing domestic cat management and getting further ahead of Aotearoa New Zealand in protecting their threatened native species. In part two of this three-part series, … Continue reading Cat catastrophe: Managing our feline companions
In Aotearoa New Zealand Māori are ‘tangata whenua’ – people of the land. This reflects the importance of te taiao (the environment) to Māori identity, culture, and tikanga. Te reo Māori is shaped by the unique environment and wildlife. There is a depth of meaning to te reo Māori words. Often a one or two-word … Continue reading Why kākāpō are called kākāpō and other wildlife names
When it comes to protecting nature, these five rangatahi “understood the assignment”. There’s a question mark hanging over their future ability to enjoy wildlife and wild places in Aotearoa New Zealand, but these rangatahi have taken conservation into their own hands. 1. Finn Giddy – trapper and hunter Finn is combining his love of hunting … Continue reading Bright future: 5 rangatahi shaping conservation