Stoats are emerging as a key threat to our alpine wildlife as scientists learn more about predator/prey relationships in this less-studied habitat. Remote alpine zones are home to unique skinks and geckos, some of which have only recently been discovered, along with insects such as alpine weta … [Read more...] about Alpine stoats caught on camera raiding rock wren nests
Rats are fastidious groomers. So how does an animal that grooms frequently react to the prospect of running through viscous tracking ink? Are rats reluctant to get their feet dirty – and if so, what are the implications for tracking tunnel monitoring? Prof. Carolyn King and fellow researchers … [Read more...] about Do rats mind inky feet?
The A24 self-resetting trap has been around for a year or two now, but development of the product and testing of its capabilities continues, along with evaluations of how best to utilise the traps in ‘real world’ predator eradications. Darren Peters from DOC, along with the team from Goodnature have … [Read more...] about A24 vs Stoats – island experiment deemed a success
Cats, cat management and the impact of cats on conservation – it seems that everyone in New Zealand has an opinion and a significant proportion of us own at least one companion cat – but what is actually known about the multiple roles of urban cats in New Zealand? It is becoming an increasingly … [Read more...] about City cats – what don’t we know and how can we find out?
It has been estimated that between 25,000 and 45,000 people belong to community-based environmental groups in New Zealand. That’s a lot of volunteer work and, as the estimate was made in 2011, numbers since then are likely to have grown. There’s also a pretty wide range of uncertainty in those … [Read more...] about Survey investigates huge volunteer contribution
When there’s a mouse in your pantry you notice – but in the wider environment they’re common and inconspicuous. It’s difficult to know what impact mice have in a forest or wetland environment because mice are overshadowed by – and food for – their bigger predator rivals, including rats, stoats and … [Read more...] about Mice – should we be worried?
Ship rats are known to be good and climbing trees – but what are they like at climbing mountains? If our climate gets warmer, might rats go to new heights in the search for new territory and food? Scientists Jennifer Christie and Graeme Elliott from DOC’s Christchurch office, along with Peter … [Read more...] about Rats, elevation and implications of climate change
Why did they do it? What possessed New Zealand’s government of the day, its citizens and acclimatisation societies to introduce rabbits and then stoats? It’s easy to judge in hindsight. But perhaps we should do more than judge. A better understanding of what they were thinking at the time might … [Read more...] about Liberation of stoats and weasels – a look back in time
When scientists Patrick Garvey (University of Auckland), Alistair Glen and Roger Pech (Landcare Research, Lincoln) tested the response of 18 wild-caught stoats to the scents of bigger, dominant predators, the response of the stoats was the opposite of what they expected. The researchers used towels … [Read more...] about Predator scent may be key to developing long-life lures
Rats are a uniquely serious problem on islands such as New Zealand where there has been a rodent-free evolution of our wildlife and plantlife, but scientists around the world are also looking for better ways to control rats because of their disease-carrying and food-spoilage attributes. Black … [Read more...] about Canadian researchers come up with innovative rat-luring techniques