A collage of stoat images

It’s business time: stoat mating mania and what you can do about it

Spring has sprung and the stoat mating frenzy has begun. From the moment they open their eyes as babies, female stoats are almost certainly already pregnant. It might be jarring to our human sensitivities but stoat reproduction is undeniably impressive. Clever copulation Each spring, pregnant female stoats find a cosy den to hunker down and … Continue reading It’s business time: stoat mating mania and what you can do about it

Creating corridors for kōkako

The Kaharoa Forest near Rotorua is a kōkako stronghold with a relict (original) population still holding on. Thanks to decades of predator control, bird numbers there have steadily risen, but to keep the population growing and thriving, the kōkako need more habitat.   The Kōkako Ecosystem Expansion Programme (KEEP) has ambitious plans to overcome this habitat … Continue reading Creating corridors for kōkako

A cat roaming in the grass

The feral factor – new research into roaming feral cats

Feral cats live on every continent except Antarctica – surviving in deserts, forests, farms, and cities. But even though they can live almost anywhere, some habitats are more appealing than others.  New research published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology found that landscape type might play a role in how far feral cats wander. … Continue reading The feral factor – new research into roaming feral cats

Penguins caught on camera

Getting smart: is Artificial Intelligence the key to Predator Free 2050?

Aotearoa New Zealand has made huge strides towards the Predator Free 2050 (PF2050) goal, but many believe we need new technologies to get to the finish line. It might sound futuristic, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already hard at work in the predator free movement, and there are lots of exciting developments on the horizon. … Continue reading Getting smart: is Artificial Intelligence the key to Predator Free 2050?

some volunteers working on some trap boxes

The light at the end of the trapping tunnel

It turns out it’s not just the birds that benefit from backyard trapping. Research by Zealandia’s Centre for People and Nature shows being involved in community trapping is also good for your mental health.  MenzSheds throughout the country offer people a space to get together and connect while doing something practical. Lots of Sheds focus … Continue reading The light at the end of the trapping tunnel

A kea perched on a rock

Flying at half-mast: connecting kea decline to mast years

New research published in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology shows that mast years are bad news for kea. Native beech trees produce millions of tasty seeds in a mast year, which rodents love. The rodent populations explode, setting in motion a devastating cascade of events. But it’s when the masting stops that taonga species … Continue reading Flying at half-mast: connecting kea decline to mast years

A stoat with a dead rat in its mouth

Zeroing in – toxic rodents lure last stoats

Imagine lush landscapes alive with Aotearoa New Zealand’s quirky and unique plants and wildlife. This is the Predator Free 2050 vision but to get there we need new tools. While 1080 operations and trapping networks remove most introduced predators from an area, getting the remaining animals is a challenge. The last stoats can be particularly … Continue reading Zeroing in – toxic rodents lure last stoats

A technician preparing a drone.

X marks the spot: toxin drone drops to tackle tricky terrain

Boots on the ground and 1080 applied over large areas can control about 95 percent of possums, rats and stoats. But what about that last 5 percent? Craig Morley and Philip Solaris believe precision drone technology is the solution to bridge that elusive gap. And they’ve been developing drones, bait pods and sensor technology to do just … Continue reading X marks the spot: toxin drone drops to tackle tricky terrain

Codfish Island bush with blue sky.

Connecting with the cause: feeding kākāpō on Whenua Hou

What’s it like meeting Merv the kākāpō? Ask Jack Fifield – a 26-year-old Predator Free Apprentice passionate about his work in pest control. But, if you’d asked Jack 10 years ago where he’d be working today, he might’ve said marketing or economics. Instead, he’s feeding kākāpō in the pristine bush of Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) … Continue reading Connecting with the cause: feeding kākāpō on Whenua Hou