How much trapping does it take to make a difference? Sometimes even a small difference can make all the difference to a species that is at a borderline point for sustaining its population. In a recent edition of the New Zealand Ornithological Society’s journal Notornis, DOC scientists Jane … [Read more...] about Takahe protection benefits the neighbours
In Central Otago the locals are becoming increasingly proud of their giant lizards. “Reptiles are our megafauna,” says Grant Norbury, a Landcare Research scientist based in Alexandra and chair of the Central Otago Ecological Trust, which created a small fenced sanctuary and released the first … [Read more...] about Sanctuary raises profile of endemic lizards
When possums live in an urban landscape, their fondness for fruit, flowers and foliage quickly makes then unpopular with gardeners. They can be noisy on the roof at night too. But the impact they’re having on local birdlife may not be quite so obvious. Well fed on apples and roses, urban possums … [Read more...] about Urban possums – it’s not just about the roses
As kaka become a more familiar part of everyday suburban lives in some parts of New Zealand, the city-living parrots are also attracting the attention of researchers interested in the parrot/urban mix. How well are urban kaka learning to adapt to city life and what might be some city threats that … [Read more...] about Urban kaka – how are they adapting to city life?
Inventing a new kind of trap can be a slow kind of process. Sometimes you don’t even know you’re on that journey until you’re well on your way. Take the podiTRAP for example. It’s probably still a year away from commercial release, but the podiTRAP may well be ‘the tool to use’ in the … [Read more...] about New podiTRAP a long time in the making
Anticoagulant poisons are commonly used to kill rats in New Zealand and around the world. But at least 18 countries in Europe, America and Asia have reported growing resistance in their rat populations to these poisons. Are our rats growing bait-resistant too? Phil Cowan et al from Landcare Research … [Read more...] about Rat bait resistance – should we be worried?
A few years back, John Collins of Omaui got sick of shooting possums every night. He decided more needed to be done. Omaui is a small village of about 30 houses in Southland, located right at the mouth of the Oreti River estuary, opposite Oreti Beach. “I’ve always been environment-minded,” … [Read more...] about Possums sorted – look out Omaui rats
It could have been so much worse... red foxes, Patagonian foxes, mongooses (or should that be mongeese?) – even badgers were proposed as a solution to New Zealand’s rampant rabbit problem back in the late 1800s. One entrepreneur actually thought burrowing owls might sort the rabbits out. Prof … [Read more...] about Narrow escape makes horror reading
The secret lives of Taranaki’s pet cats are currently being revealed – thanks to project funding from Curious Minds which has enabled the purchase of 60 cat harnesses fitted with GPS tracking devices. If you live in Taranaki and you’ve always wondered where your cat goes when it’s not at home, now … [Read more...] about Curious Minds project lets kids keep tabs on their tabbies
Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and black rats (also known as ship rats), (Rattus rattus), are among the most prolific and widespread urban pest species in the world. But what do we know about their secret city lives? After all – the more we know, the better we can understand what we’re up … [Read more...] about Secret life of urban rats revealed