Peanut butter has long been used as a bait for rat traps. Possums have a fondness for the scent of cinnamon. But are they the all-time favourite foods of rats and possums? Researchers at Victoria University of Wellington used chew cards to check out what really tickles the tastebuds of two of our … [Read more...] about Better baits and better trapping
Public conservation land is only a small proportion of the total land of New Zealand and isn’t necessarily representative of the full range of ecosystems. David Norton (School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Jason Butt (Environment Canterbury) and David Bergin (Environmental Restoration Ltd) … [Read more...] about Upscaling restoration – 8 things to consider
Like many modern-day medicines, rodenticides are often derived from natural sources. Plants may evolve toxic chemicals to protect them from grazers for example, and sometimes all that distinguishes a beneficial drug from a toxic poison is the dosage. In a recent issue of the NZ Journal of … [Read more...] about Rat poisons and human medicines have natural links
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?
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
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?
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
Conservation genetics has implications for all sorts of conservation measures whether it be choosing the source birds for a translocation to a new sanctuary to ensure sufficient genetic diversity, ‘forensic’ type investigations to identify the source of a newly arrived predator on an island (where a … [Read more...] about Conservation geneticists want to build a bridge to DOC
Breakthrough genetic technologies are likely to play a key role in achieving a predator-free future. But it’s important that we understand what the various technologies are now – as they’re being developed - not when they’re about to be implemented. We need to debate the issues and become as … [Read more...] about What’s the story with genetic pest management (GPM)?