How to keep your compost rodent free: A Q&A with an Expert from Compost Collective

Composting has many benefits: it enriches soil, reduces waste and is great for the environment. The Compost Collective is a collaborative project aimed at helping New Zealand households engage in composting and organic waste reduction. Thousands of New Zealanders are already composting, however, the bins may attract rats and mice to feast on your food … Continue reading How to keep your compost rodent free: A Q&A with an Expert from Compost Collective

Melissa Boardman in the forest

Appreciating what lies beyond the forest’s edge: Interview with Illustrator, Melissa Boardman

Melissa Boardman is an illustrator passionate about native birds, conservation and the environment. She frequently visits predator free sanctuaries across Aotearoa where she spends her time observing and photographing birds in their natural habitats.  Recently, Melissa published her first book, Birds of New Zealand: Collective Nouns, a beautifully illustrated hardback featuring over 90 native bird … Continue reading Appreciating what lies beyond the forest’s edge: Interview with Illustrator, Melissa Boardman

Aaron and Raine team up to tackle predators at Shelly Beach

On the Coromandel Peninsula, individuals and organisations are coming together to tackle predators and protect the local wildlife and stunning surroundings. This is just one of their stories. Aaron McFarlane and his family are first-time holiday park owners. “My parents bought Shelly Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park about 3 years ago,” Aaron explains, “The beachside … Continue reading Aaron and Raine team up to tackle predators at Shelly Beach

Yealands Estate adds trapping to their eco-friendly initiatives

Tara Smith is Sustainability Manager for Yealands Estate. The role is a new one – she started in May 2019 – but sustainability has been part of the Yealands vision since the vineyard’s beginnings in 2008. Recently the Yealands team have added predator trapping to their long list of eco-friendly initiatives. Each day Tara and … Continue reading Yealands Estate adds trapping to their eco-friendly initiatives

Kiwi company exports NZ trapping expertise

Traps developed in New Zealand aren’t just saving our wildlife, they’re helping endangered wildlife all around the world. We lead the way in producing humane, effective traps – and the rest of the world is taking notice, with new export markets opening up for our trap manufacturers. CMI Ltd, which manufactures DOC Series traps (DOC … Continue reading Kiwi company exports NZ trapping expertise

Winton company takes on Motu Ngahere restoration project

On the Southland Plains near Winton, Motu Ngahere (‘Island of Bush’) is one of the very few original native bush remnants left in the area – literally an ‘island’ in the rural landscape. The name was chosen after seeking consultation with local iwi. “It’s the last lowland rata/broadleaf podocarp forest left in Central Southland, other … Continue reading Winton company takes on Motu Ngahere restoration project

A close up image of a tūī

Alert Level 3 —what you can and can’t do

Most recently updated 12pm 28 April We are now in Level 3. We know a number of you are looking forward to getting back to your projects and checking and rebaiting your traps and bait stations. We’ve been trying to get the most up to date information so you can be clear on what you … Continue reading Alert Level 3 —what you can and can’t do

Predator control — what you can and can’t do right now

Many of you may be wondering what you can and can’t do to protect our native wildlife throughout the lockdown period. So we thought we would summarise this for you. For up to date information on the COVID-19 response see the Government website. If you are involved in backyard or community trapping while NZ is … Continue reading Predator control — what you can and can’t do right now

Extinct birds on show in digital art exhibition

Seen any extinct New Zealand birds at the shopping mall recently? Or maybe you spotted one while passing through Wellington Airport… Urban Art Foundation’s latest exhibition features 12 paintings of extinct New Zealand birds, shown digitally on numerous advertising signs in main centre shopping malls and at Wellington Airport. The paintings are by Masterton-based artist, … Continue reading Extinct birds on show in digital art exhibition

EnviroMate100 bait station delivers time-controlled ‘dinner dishes’

Shane Hyde of Kaeo (Whangarei) left school at 16 and spent years working on predator control and weed control projects, but ill health in 2006, after spraying herbicides, forced him to rethink how he approached the physically demanding outdoor work. The next few years weren’t easy – but ultimately those challenges inspired Shane’s development of … Continue reading EnviroMate100 bait station delivers time-controlled ‘dinner dishes’

Russell Orongo Bay Holiday Park wins Predator Free Award

Both kiwi and weka wander freely along the forest trails at Russell Orongo Bay Holiday Park and a total of 55 different bird species have been identified there, making the park a fabulous destination for nature-loving holidaymakers. Owners, Tori and James Burns encourage visitors to ‘Experience, Encounter, Explore’ the beautiful surroundings and have a long-running … Continue reading Russell Orongo Bay Holiday Park wins Predator Free Award

Wildlife artist, Hannah Shand, captures the personality of native birds

When Hannah Shand studied fashion at University, she would choose to do art-based projects and always enjoyed doing things by hand rather than on computer. As a graduate, she moved to Auckland for a job in a fashion workroom, and found the workroom job wasn’t as creative as studying at Uni. “I wanted to do … Continue reading Wildlife artist, Hannah Shand, captures the personality of native birds

Papa Taiao courses develop leadership and sustainable enterprise skills

Every three weeks, 2-3 senior students from most central Wellington high schools come together for an after-school workshop to help them hone the leadership skills they need to develop their own sustainable, environment-focussed enterprise or project. The workshops continue for the full school year, earning NCEA credits and are the latest initiative from sustainability and … Continue reading Papa Taiao courses develop leadership and sustainable enterprise skills

PekaPeka bird feeder is a winner for its Dunedin designers

Harvey Penfold is a product design student, in his final year at Otago Polytech, Tahu Mackenzie is LEOTC (Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom) Education Officer at Orokonui Ecosanctuary just north of Dunedin and together they’ve designed an innovative bird-feeder. The PekaPeka was designed and tested as part of a Citizen Science project that is ongoing … Continue reading PekaPeka bird feeder is a winner for its Dunedin designers

Ruakuri’s unique karst landscape benefits from zero rat density

The Ruakuri Scenic Reserve, which includes New Zealand’s internationally renowned Ruakuri Cave, is an epic example of cave and karst landscape and sanctuary to New Zealand’s endemic and vulnerable fauna and flora, including long-tailed bats and bush falcons. It’s limestone country with caves and stalactites, limestone outcrops, tomo holes and disappearing streams. In recent years, … Continue reading Ruakuri’s unique karst landscape benefits from zero rat density

Protection and accessibility are key goals for Wharariki Onetahua Restoration

The first time that 80 double-trap DOC 200s were set out at the Wharariki Onetahua Restoration site they caught 29 rats and 25 stoats! Some traps caught two predators! Catching 25 stoats off 80 traps is an awesome total – but think about what that says about the sheer army of predators that wildlife at … Continue reading Protection and accessibility are key goals for Wharariki Onetahua Restoration

Family swaps military life for remote Marlborough Sounds

Both Chris and Barbara Faulls used to have careers in the military. It meant an adventurous life with postings to all sorts of locations around the world, but in 1996 they made the decision to return to the remote beef farm in the Marlborough Sounds where Barbara had grown up. “We got to the point … Continue reading Family swaps military life for remote Marlborough Sounds

Birds return favour keeping nursery pests at bay

Three generations of the Bayly family are involved in trapping predators on the family farm on the Kaipara Coast, half an hour’s drive north of Auckland. David Bayly’s parents, Don and Margaret bought the land back in 1960 and Don Bayly started actively trapping 20 years ago. Back then, there was next to no birdlife … Continue reading Birds return favour keeping nursery pests at bay

Rat-trapping compost bin disposes of rodent problem

What’s a broken-down washing machine got to do with backyard predator control? Not a trick question – just an example of the creative and inventive lengths some entrepreneurs will go to in order to nab rodent compost bin raiders. Hannah Smith in Auckland, had a problem. She wanted to recycle food scraps and garden waste … Continue reading Rat-trapping compost bin disposes of rodent problem

Vision for buff weka drives Motatapu Station restoration

With a vision to re-establish the once-common buff weka, Motatapu Station near Wanaka is tackling habitat restoration and predator control on an impressively large scale. Just check out the numbers so far: • 1,405,278 corrected trap nights (CTN – a ‘catch per effort’ adjustment that takes account of the uncertainty over how long an animal … Continue reading Vision for buff weka drives Motatapu Station restoration

New stamp issue looks to predator free future

On 1 August five new stamps will be issued by NZ Post celebrating the possibilities of a predator free future. For the design team at NZ Post, it’s quite a departure from the usual subject matter of stamp issues. “The majority of our stamp issues look at culture, history, heritage and people,” explains Simon Allison, Head … Continue reading New stamp issue looks to predator free future

DeBretts holiday park makes award-winning effort to control predators

Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort has a whole bunch of eco-initiatives in place to encourage their holiday park guests to reuse, recycle and reduce their impact on the environment. So when the family-owned business heard about Predator Free 2050, the owners and their 60 local staff were keen to get involved in predator control too. In recognition … Continue reading DeBretts holiday park makes award-winning effort to control predators

Towards a Predator Free Taranaki

A large-scale predator project, the biggest of its kind in New Zealand, was launched in Taranaki today supported by more than $11 million from the Government. Taranaki aims to be the first predator free region in the country under the project, called Taranaki Taku Tūranga – Our Place, Towards a Predator-Free Taranaki and is led … Continue reading Towards a Predator Free Taranaki

Ambitious plans for Grid-i detector

Gerald Dickinson has a busy year ahead. He’s just won a WWF Innovation Award for his Grid-i pest-detection development project and is aiming to have commercial units available by December 2018. It is – he freely admits – an ambitious timeline. “The Innovation Award is a huge boost,” Gerald says. “The various hardware components are … Continue reading Ambitious plans for Grid-i detector

Trap and Trigger takes out Innovation Award

Jordan and Mikayla Munn are recent winners of $25,000 in the WWF 2017 Innovation Awards with their venture to use top-of-the-line, military quality, thermal imaging technology to detect and help in the removal of invasive animals. ‘Trap and Trigger Ltd’, the young couple’s conservation and wildlife management company, has already invested hugely in the technology … Continue reading Trap and Trigger takes out Innovation Award

App launch tops successful year for Squawk Squad

A while back the Squawk Squad team were thinking about how they could get people more interested in birds in the lead-up to the December launch of their Squawk Squad app. Conservation Week in October seemed like an ideal opportunity just waiting to be grabbed. “We were thinking about how we could blow it up and … Continue reading App launch tops successful year for Squawk Squad

Young kaitiaki learn to care for Omataroa kiwi 

Ian Tarei is Kiwi Project Manager for the Omataroa-Rangitaiki No 2 [Maori land] Trust and has been involved with the project since its beginning 10 years ago. But trapping predators to benefit kiwi in the Trust’s 540 hectare Puhikoko Reserve is only part of the work Ian does. His company, Omataroa Kaitiaki, is also quietly … Continue reading Young kaitiaki learn to care for Omataroa kiwi 

Robot in garage assembles Econode circuit boards

Behind the doors of ordinary Kiwi garages, some astonishing things are happening. Take, for example, a garage somewhere in the suburbs of Upper Hutt, where a robot is currently assembling circuit boards for the Econode designed remote trap sensor devices. Hard to believe – then check out the video of the high-precision robot at work. … Continue reading Robot in garage assembles Econode circuit boards

Open Source is key to bringing back the cacophony

Early New Zealand was noisy. Cook and his crew experienced a ‘cacophony of sound’ on their first voyage. It’s that loud, raucous, exuberance which Banks Peninsula engineer and inventor Grant Ryan is aiming to restore through an open source technology project he has initiated. “There are two key defining features about the Cacophony Project that make … Continue reading Open Source is key to bringing back the cacophony

Remote Blue Duck Station is haven for whio, kiwi and bats

At Blue Duck Station, in the Ruapehu District, you’ll find (no prizes for guessing)… blue ducks! In fact Blue Duck Station has one of the highest concentrations of whio and also kiwi, in New Zealand. “There are about 10 pairs of blue ducks on and around the station,” says owner and manager, Dan Steele. “And … Continue reading Remote Blue Duck Station is haven for whio, kiwi and bats

Tourists keen to contribute says UK-based travel specialist

“DIY – it’s in our DNA,” according to the TV advertisement slogan of a well-known New Zealand hardware chain. Kiwis pride themselves on their practical skills – their ‘can-do attitude’ and ‘do-it-yourself’ fixing skills – so when conservation budgets got smaller and the nation’s wildlife crisis continued to grow, ordinary kiwis rolled up their sleeves … Continue reading Tourists keen to contribute says UK-based travel specialist

Tourists ride boats, trap stoats with Wairaurahiri Jet

Once upon a time, Johan Groters and Joyce Kolk were Southland farmers. Then in 1994, Johan and some friends formed a partnership, got a jetboat concession and began to share their love of the remote Fiordland wilderness on their doorstep by taking visitors up the Wairaurahiri River. At first the jetboat venture was just a … Continue reading Tourists ride boats, trap stoats with Wairaurahiri Jet

NZ tracking technology goes global

In the small urban satellite town of Mosgiel, just down the motorway from Dunedin, you’ll find the home base of a GPS system called ‘TracMap’. True to the tradition of kiwi innovation, it is an invention that started small and has gone on to revolutionize predator eradication on islands and difficult landscapes around the world. … Continue reading NZ tracking technology goes global

Goats, stoats and possum-fur coats: it’s carnage out there

Guest blog by Peter Heath It’s dead. Very dead, judging by the stench and the smooshed appearance of the remains – all fur, bones and black-brown gloopy stuff. A possum, maybe? A rabbit? “It’s not just townies,” Simon says, smiling at my obvious disgust. “There’s plenty of debate among farmers and bush dwellers, too. One … Continue reading Goats, stoats and possum-fur coats: it’s carnage out there

Trust aims to be predator free from Glenorchy to the Sea

Formed in 2013, the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust (RDWT) is inspired by a vision of being predator free “from Glenorchy to the sea,” says trustee Amanda Hasselman. Working in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and the Hollyford Trust, with substantial sponsorship from Air New Zealand, the Trust aims to bring back the birdsong to … Continue reading Trust aims to be predator free from Glenorchy to the Sea

Raw diet good for pet health and the environment

Possums, rabbits, hares, wallabies and goats are all on the menu at ‘Raw Essentials’, a pet-food company which strongly believes in feeding our carnivore pets a true carnivorous diet. If that diet includes meat, bone and organs from pest species which would otherwise go to waste, then so much the better for sustainability, the environment … Continue reading Raw diet good for pet health and the environment

New business venture finds growing market for possum meat

When it comes to possums, Zach Howarth believes in ‘utilising it all’. He’s about to sell his first shipment of possum meat to petfood manufacturer ‘Possyum’. Currently there’s a ½ tonne of possum meat sitting in Zach’s brand new chiller in Tahawai, a couple of kms up the road from Katikati. That’s 288 dead possums, … Continue reading New business venture finds growing market for possum meat

Adventure eco-tour company grows with forest

From the ziplines and swing bridges built high in the canopy of Rotorua’s Mamaku Forest there’s a phenomenal view of what a New Zealand forest looks like when it’s not full of possums and rats. There’s an abundance of green palatable species now that the hordes of grazers are gone. Gary Coker, conservation manager for … Continue reading Adventure eco-tour company grows with forest

Going Native — Third Island rat catching with Goodnature by Paul Stanley Ward

I got a text from my mate Robbie, “Wanna come down Rakiura-Stewart Island and check some traps?” I’d never been to the ‘Third Island’, and had heard enough raves about backyard kaka and beaches chocka with kiwi to make my answer obvious. This bird nerd was raring for a range in Rakiura. Robbie is one … Continue reading Going Native — Third Island rat catching with Goodnature by Paul Stanley Ward