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 … [Read more...] about New toxin combination tested for rats and possums
When you think about roads and wildlife, the first thought that springs to mind is a collision with fatal consequences. But roads can impact wildlife in a whole range of ways and more evidence is needed on the most effective ways to mitigate those impacts. Collisions with vehicles are only one … [Read more...] about Road hazards for wildlife more than just a collision risk
There’s a rare and colourful gecko known to live in only a few boulder fields and rock jumbles in the alpine areas of Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts. It’s been named the orange-spotted gecko and was only discovered as recently as 1998. Orange-spotted gecko. Photo: Carey Knox … [Read more...] about Rare orange-spotted gecko lives only in alpine zone
Monitoring wildlife population densities in our ‘mainland island’ fenced sanctuaries is an important part of measuring sanctuary success and assessing the longterm costs and benefits of predator-exclusion fencing. Such fences don’t come cheap, after all. What's the best way to monitor population … [Read more...] about Citizen science monitoring method outlined and tested
Let’s be honest – New Zealand’s wildlife is weird. There are alpine weta that can freeze and thaw, kiwi with their amazing sense of smell and mammal-like behaviour, booming kakapo, carnivorous snails – and then there are our bats. The closest relatives of our short-tailed bats live in tropical … [Read more...] about Hibernation or torpor? Understanding our weird and wonderful bats
Should we be using gene editing in New Zealand for predator control? How and where might it be used? What is even possible? DNA strand. The Royal Society Te Aparangi have just released a range of resources considering what gene editing is and how it might be used in New Zealand. The Royal … [Read more...] about Gene editing for pest control
When scientists studying the dynamics of a Norway rat colony in New York had some wild cats moved in on the experiment, they took the opportunity to see how the presence of cats and their behaviour influenced the presence and behaviour of the rats. Did rats move out when the cats moved in – or did … [Read more...] about Can feral cats limit rats?
‘Giant rats’ in our cities have hit the media headlines in recent weeks and, while ‘rats as big as cats’ are unlikely to be stalking the suburbs, there do seem to be some large and well-fed rats lurking in urban areas. What’s more – the rats that your cat brings home may not be the biggest ones out … [Read more...] about Cats vs Rats (and the big ones that get away)
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), … [Read more...] about Review of conservation tools under development
Graeme Elliott has been studying our native birds for 45 years and using his knowledge we've put together an overview of how we can best protect our native birds in a mast year. A small reclusive bird the rock wren For him the message is clear, the main tool that can be used to reduce … [Read more...] about How can we help native species in a mast year?