In a paper just published online (and not available in print until 2017), some of New Zealand’s top conservation scientists review the prospects for control and eventual eradication of our key mammalian pests. John Parkes, Graham Nugent, David Forsyth, Andrea Byrom, Roger Pech, Bruce Warburton and … [Read more...] about Pest-free future under the microscope
Science isn’t just about the big breakthroughs – although they’re great when they happen. Mostly it’s about challenging assumptions, testing alternatives and finding new and better ways to do things. Change is incremental and improvements are constantly being integrated into the way things are … [Read more...] about GPS offers aerial application alternative
Just because you’re not catching anything, doesn’t necessarily mean all predators have been eradicated. Being certain that an area is completely predator-free is a challenge in island eradications where certainty is needed before endangered species can be reintroduced. But the problem also applies … [Read more...] about Rapid eradication assessment – with online app
How do you change public behaviour - for example, persuade cat owner's to bring their pets inside? Is education the answer? Is education enough? If people just knew more about conservation issues would they become supporters and adopt conservation values themselves? Not necessarily. The reality is … [Read more...] about Influencing conservation behaviour – the role of social psychology
Research and innovation mean that the options for helping out our native species are increasing all the time. First there were small, predator free island sanctuaries, then bigger islands and then there was Zealandia – the world’s first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary. Mainland sanctuaries … [Read more...] about Doing the sums – what are the best predator control options?
Peanut butter has long been used as a lure for rats. 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 more … [Read more...] about Better baits and better trapping
It’s called the Trojan Female Technique and it’s involves a mutation in females that makes all their male offspring infertile. Because it is a gene, not a virus, it stays within that particular species and is spread from one generation to the next by breeding, not by disease. It has the potential … [Read more...] about Trojan Possums – are they the next step?
Fundamental to a well-managed pest control programme is detecting what predators you have and monitoring the changes in abundance as your trapping regime progresses. Leg hold traps are a traditional way to achieve this, but may not be sensitive to possum presence when possum levels are at very low … [Read more...] about Detecting predators – can you count on chew-track-cards and WaxTags?
Rest assured, New Zealand’s scientific community are beavering away to find new and better ways to combat possums. These are just a few of the research reports investigating possum control recently published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology. Firstly a poison bait evaluation was … [Read more...] about New ways to combat possums
Environmental monitoring is more than just a modern conservation buzzword. It’s an essential tool in determining whether all those volunteer hours put in by your community group is achieving positive, measurable change. Positive change is not just dead rats, dead possums and a truckload of weeds … [Read more...] about Monitoring matters