Cats and dogs are both predators of rats – but to what extent is the presence of cats and/or dogs a deterrent to rodents? How do you even measure how ‘nervous’ a rat feels? Scientists in far-off Swaziland used some interesting techniques to determine how uneasy rats felt in the presence of … [Read more...] about Investigating a rat’s ‘landscape of fear’
Predator Free Great Barrier or Stewart Island? It’s already technically feasible. But is it socially feasible? When it comes to complete eradication of predators on inhabited islands there’s a lot more to consider than just the conservation benefits and technical aspects. People, their livestock, … [Read more...] about Eradication – what about the social impacts?
Not every species can be saved by moving it to a predator free island. It has helped the black robin - but it won’t help the black-fronted tern. Islands simply don’t have the habitat that the terns need to breed. Black-fronted terns have a small, declining population and are classified as … [Read more...] about No sanctuary option for terns
Kea curiosity can be fatal. The Kea Conservation Trust is urging people carrying out ground-based predator control in kea habitat to take extra precautions to avoid injury or death to kea. Together with kea specialists and predator control advisors, the group has put together a Best Practice … [Read more...] about Key tips for keeping kea safe
In New Zealand we tend to focus on the harm rats do to our wildlife and ecosystems. But there’s another side to rats that’s even closer to home – their ability to carry diseases and parasites to people. From pig farms in Canada to the slums of Brazil, recent international research has been looking … [Read more...] about Rats and human disease links
When it comes to predation risks, it helps if you’re big and have attitude – especially if your breeding colony is on the mainland. Westland Petrels are both big and feisty and appear to be able to cope with some of our more common introduced villains. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not … [Read more...] about Feisty petrels still at risk from predators
The technology associated with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is getting smart and sophisticated. These intriguing little machines are more than just Christmas toys. High-end models are proving their worth in a whole variety of ways including detecting water deficiencies in agricultural crops and … [Read more...] about Tools for a predator-free future
When mammal predators first arrived in Aotearoa/New Zealand, our native species didn’t know what had hit them and their naiveté led to some rapid extinctions. Have our surviving species ‘wised up’ to mammal threats in the last century or so? If so, what happens when birds are moved to predator free … [Read more...] about Thesis explores anti-predator adaptive behaviour
Tracking tunnels, chew cards and WaxTags© are commonly used to detect predator presence and monitor abundance, but in recent years there’s been a new tool in the conservation kit – the remote camera. Evaluations of its use are showing that it is a tool with a lot of promise and some significant … [Read more...] about Detecting predators in the city – what works best?
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