St Andrews Primary plans to trap predators and feed rescue raptors

St Andrews Primary is a rural school in South Canterbury where children and teachers have strong ties to their natural environment. They’ve recently become a Kiwibank Predator Free School – but that’s just the latest in an impressive lineup of conservation projects ranging from monitoring endangered mudfish to helping orphaned and injured harrier hawks and … Continue reading St Andrews Primary plans to trap predators and feed rescue raptors

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

The results are in: Where to next for Pest Free Auckland Island?

Four months on from the first boat leaving for Auckland Island, all the field teams are home safely for the winter. A whirlwind summer has seen great gains in knowledge about the island and has given valuable insights into how the ambitious plan to remove pigs, cats and mice might work. Field trials to inform … Continue reading The results are in: Where to next for Pest Free Auckland Island?

Stealthy stoat eludes Hastings Golf Club trappers

There’s a stoat stalking the greens at Hastings Golf Club and members are determined to catch it. In fact, the stealthy stoat has inspired the start of a comprehensive trapping programme for other introduced predators, including any rats, possums or hedgehogs hanging out on the wilder fringes off the fairway. Trapping project coordinator, Murray McNae, … Continue reading Stealthy stoat eludes Hastings Golf Club trappers

Otuwhero Wetland Trust cites ‘sporting benefits’ of volunteer work

“Community conservation work should be designated a sport,” Helen Lindsay believes, “Then it might get more funding.” Helen is Chair of the Otuwhero Wetland Trust and cites the (sporting) benefits of being part of a conservation volunteer team. “It has good social benefits,” she says. “You’re working with people who have the same interests, it’s … Continue reading Otuwhero Wetland Trust cites ‘sporting benefits’ of volunteer work

Community-led conservation dates back to 1960s at Bushy Park-Tarapuruhi

Bushy Park-Tarapuruhi Forest Sanctuary and Historic Homestead lies 25km north of Whanganui and has a long history of community-led conservation, going back to the early 1960s. “It’s had its ups and downs,” according to Mandy Brooke who has managed the Sanctuary since 2014, “but it’s an amazing example of long-term conservation. The forest is a … Continue reading Community-led conservation dates back to 1960s at Bushy Park-Tarapuruhi

Wildlife Hospital patients show scars of narrow escapes

Injured and sick wildlife have been pouring into Dunedin’s new wildlife hospital since it opened just over a year ago. Some are sick and starving, others have had a close encounter with a shark, while a significant number of native wildlife were wounded during a narrow escape from people’s pets. Each patient has a story … Continue reading Wildlife Hospital patients show scars of narrow escapes

NZ Conservation Trust raise kiwi and trap stoats

The New Zealand Conservation Trust (NZCT), based in Christchurch, has one of the largest kiwi breeding facility facilities in the South Island. They have an office at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve and work closely with Willowbank Wildlife Reserve staff who manage and care for three different kiwi species juvenile kiwi. Last season (2017-2018) over 56 kiwi … Continue reading NZ Conservation Trust raise kiwi and trap stoats

Tamahunga Trappers look out for rare plants as well as wildlife

It’s not just native birds that the Tamahunga Trappers are keen to protect. There’s a native iris growing in their reserve that isn’t found anywhere else in the world. “One of our members is a keen amateur botanist and we keep a list of any new plants we discover,” says David Wilson, chairperson of the … Continue reading Tamahunga Trappers look out for rare plants as well as wildlife

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

Trials test feasibility of removing pigs, cats and mice from Auckland Island

Trials are in full swing down in the Southern Ocean exploring whether it’s possible to rid Auckland Island of its three remaining introduced predators – pigs, cats and mice. Following the successful eradication of mice from Antipodes Island, the Department of Conservation has turned its attention to the last island within the New Zealand Subantarctic … Continue reading Trials test feasibility of removing pigs, cats and mice from Auckland Island

Lego kākāpō design needs 10,000 supporters

University student Hayden P. is a Lego enthusiast with a passion for New Zealand birds. If his latest Lego design – a kākāpō – reaches 10,000 supporters on the Lego Ideas website then the design will be considered for commercial release as an official Lego product to be sold worldwide. Come on New Zealand, let’s get … Continue reading Lego kākāpō design needs 10,000 supporters

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

Parihaka volunteer roles ‘not too onerous’ and everyone welcome

Dai Morgan says there’s a job for everyone in the Parihaka Landcare Group. “It’s not too onerous. There are different grades of work. It’s usually one Sunday a month and all done in three hours. The traplines can be checked in small sections,” he adds. “If we get enough people, we can do it very … Continue reading Parihaka volunteer roles ‘not too onerous’ and everyone welcome

Post Shop and workshops help new Wanaka group recruit backyard trappers

Since forming in Feb 2018, the Wanaka Backyard Trapping Group has been going from strength to strength. “The Post Shop approached us about putting up a display,” explains the group’s co-ordinator, Kris Vollebregt. “It was great. Customers were all standing in the Post Shop queue line by the display – it’s a captive audience! The … Continue reading Post Shop and workshops help new Wanaka group recruit backyard trappers

Latest bird survey confirms Hollyford Conservation Trust success

Rifleman are spreading across Martins Bay in Fiordland and there are more kakariki and kaka – “lots more than ever encountered before”. Those are just some of the encouraging results reported after the latest bird counts commissioned by the Hollyford Conservation Trust and carried out by Te Anau company ‘Mainly Fauna’. “We have had anecdotal … Continue reading Latest bird survey confirms Hollyford Conservation Trust success

Eastern Bays Songbird Project ambitious and innovative

Five Auckland suburbs, 16,000 households – if you think it sounds like an ambitious trapping project, you’re not far wrong. Innovative ideas, funding support and well thought out planning are all going to be crucial in the months and years ahead for the Eastern Bays Songbird Project. The backyard component of the trapping programme is … Continue reading Eastern Bays Songbird Project ambitious and innovative

Otago groups join forces for Predator Free Dunedin

It’s the new group on the block. Predator Free Dunedin launched just a few weeks ago in early October. But while the umbrella organisation is newly formed, it’s made up of 20 well-established Dunedin volunteer groups and larger organisations representing a wealth of Otago conservation experience. “Predator Free Dunedin includes big institutions like the University … Continue reading Otago groups join forces for Predator Free Dunedin

Another twenty-one schools become Kiwibank Predator Free Schools

We are excited to announce another 21 schools have been selected to become part of our Kiwibank Predator Free schools programme. The successful schools are spread between Northland and Bluff (literally!) and include a range of rural and urban, primary and secondary.   The Kiwibank Predator Free Schools’ programme, a partnership between Predator Free NZ … Continue reading Another twenty-one schools become Kiwibank Predator Free Schools

We’ve teamed up with NZ illustrator to create iconic wildlife poster

We commissioned local artist Erin Forsyth to help us create a stunning poster featuring some of our native species – Taonga o Aotearoa. Our aim is to get the poster into every classroom and DOC hut in the country, to help remind people what we’re protecting by creating a predator free New Zealand. Most Kiwis will have a … Continue reading We’ve teamed up with NZ illustrator to create iconic wildlife poster

CatchIT’s ‘natural innovators’ brimming with ideas for trapping

Got a ferret you’re struggling to trap? How about using a milk bottle top filled with milk for a lure? It worked a treat for one child taking part in the Forest Bridge Trust’s award-winning CatchIT schools programme. “Children are natural innovators,” says Liz Maire, educator for the Trust. “Some of them have discovered things … Continue reading CatchIT’s ‘natural innovators’ brimming with ideas for trapping

Ahipara youngsters lead the way

They’re some of the youngest members of Ahipara’s small seaside community, but the children of Ahipara Sandhoppers are doing everything they can to help their environment from picking up rubbish, to growing plants for butterflies, trapping predators and even deconstructing broken appliances for recycling. What’s more – these Kaitiaki Kids haven’t even started school yet! … Continue reading Ahipara youngsters lead the way

Port Chalmers farming family helps keep ‘Halo’ free of predators

With Orokonui Sanctuary nearby and the virgin forest of the Mihiwaka Reserve bordering their sheep and beef farm, Port Chalmers farmers John and Shona Chapman along with their son Robert and his family, had some good reasons for trapping predators on their own land. “We started trapping on the farm about two years ago, mainly … Continue reading Port Chalmers farming family helps keep ‘Halo’ free of predators

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

‘8 days a week’ effort for Purangi kiwi

Bob and Karen Schumacher have been working “8 days a week since 2004” to help kiwi at their QEII covenanted property at Purangi in East Taranaki, with an extensive trapping programme using best practice techniques that has steadily grown to encompasses more and more wildlife habitat. “We do the basics consistently, month in, month out,” … Continue reading ‘8 days a week’ effort for Purangi kiwi

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

Young trappers keen to help on Ashley estuary

Arlo Poore is only 5 years old – but he’s already something of an experienced trapper. He regularly helps Dad, Stuart, check his two traplines on the Ashley rivermouth and estuary near Waikuku in North Canterbury. “Arlo gets excited when we’ve caught something,” says Stuart. “He’s good at recognising stoats, weasels and rats. We get … Continue reading Young trappers keen to help on Ashley estuary

Mangonui kids are creative and committed to helping kiwi

East of Kaitaia, near Doubtless Bay and overlooking the Mangonui Harbour, you’ll find Mangonui School. Currently it has just over 140 students in years 1-6 (ages 5-11) and, established in 1858, it is one of the oldest schools in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Teacher, Ryan Kiely says he can see the sea out his classroom window. “I … Continue reading Mangonui kids are creative and committed to helping kiwi

‘Rivers Rare’ tells success story of Waitaki braided river conservation

When the Waitaki hydro system was developed, 7,400 ha of open braided river habitat and 3,900 ha of swamplands were lost in order to ‘bring power to the people’. As well as increased electricity generation, we gained 22,250 ha of lakes and 290 ha of lake shoreline, but at a cost. It is the iconic … Continue reading ‘Rivers Rare’ tells success story of Waitaki braided river conservation

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

Eleven more Kiwibank Predator Free Communities announced…

We are pleased to announce the addition of 11 communities to our Kiwibank Predator Free Community programme. The most recent round of funding was the most competitive yet, with 69 applications. The majority of applications were from well organised, highly motivated communities wanting to make a difference in their backyards. The quality of applications in … Continue reading Eleven more Kiwibank Predator Free Communities announced…

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

Riverland Rambles gives glimpse of predator free utopia

Riverlands Rambles is an occasional diary by Wade and Jan Doak that allows the reader a glimpse into another world. This e-book, available to download at a very modest price through Amazon, tells the stories of a special part of mainland New Zealand on the Tutukaka Coast of Northland, where introduced mammal predators have effectively … Continue reading Riverland Rambles gives glimpse of predator free utopia

First rat caught is just the beginning for keen Summerland School team

“We caught our first rat yesterday,” 9-year-old Abhinav announces proudly. “We’ve got rats, mice and hedgehogs at Summerland School.” “We found that out using tracking tunnels and chew cards,” adds Gabriel. “We used peanut butter in the traps,” says Ahmad. “They’re at different sites around the school, like shady areas.” “Most are around the borders … Continue reading First rat caught is just the beginning for keen Summerland School team

Kiwi are longterm residents at the Harmans’ farm

The first time that someone from Northland’s ‘Kiwi Coast’ project visited Greta and Craig Harman’s Charolais cattle farm to monitor for kiwi presence, they didn’t need to scramble through bush looking for kiwi sign or stay up late playing kiwi call recordings to confirm that kiwi were present. “There were fresh kiwi footprints in the clay … Continue reading Kiwi are longterm residents at the Harmans’ farm

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

Rat catches get people talking in Sumner

There’s a new topic of conversation doing the rounds of the beach-side cafes and neighbourhood of Sumner in Christchurch. “It’s surprising who gets very proud of catching a dead rat,” says Gabe Ross, coordinator of Te Manu Waiata Project, otherwise known as Predator Free Sumner. “People are pretty enthusiastic, and we’ve had some very positive … Continue reading Rat catches get people talking in Sumner

Everyday life goes ‘wild’ in Newtown

Andrew Roxburgh reckons the Newtown area of Wellington where he lives is becoming a more wild place – “and that’s pretty cool!” Andrew is a volunteer with Predator Free Mt Cook/Newtown/Berhampore and says that as birds are spreading out from Zealandia, people are becoming more aware of them. They’re noticing native birds more. “Kaka are … Continue reading Everyday life goes ‘wild’ in Newtown

Increasing biodiversity is a priority at Craigmore Station

Every year David Bielski, manager of Craigmore Station in South Canterbury, plans to spend $50,000 of the station’s budget on fencing, planting trees and labour to increase biodiversity on the property. An impressive 51 hectares of land already consists of native plant species and is under various QE II covenants and game keeper John Brownley … Continue reading Increasing biodiversity is a priority at Craigmore Station

Phill Waddington – Wildlife artist and DOC Series trap inventor

Not long ago, a door-knocking volunteer from a community trapping group offered to lend Phill Waddington a DOC 200 trap to put in his back yard. What the volunteer didn’t realise – and probably most New Zealanders don’t know – is that Phill Waddington, Hutt Valley wildlife artist, actually invented the DOC Series of humane … Continue reading Phill Waddington – Wildlife artist and DOC Series trap inventor

Rotokare Scenic Reserve valued and thriving once more

Rotokare Scenic Reserve, near Eltham in South Taranaki is a stunning reserve of mature native bush, wetlands and a 17.8hectare natural lake that was first gazetted as a reserve in the late 19th Century. But by the beginning of the 21st Century the area was in visible decline and that in turn, influenced some people’s … Continue reading Rotokare Scenic Reserve valued and thriving once more

McGillivrays’ orchard is ‘rat farm’ no longer

When Wilson and Barbara McGillivray announced to friends that they were buying an avocado orchard, the response from one friend was less than enthusiastic. “He said ‘So you’re going to live on a rat farm!’” recalls Wilson. “Rats love avocados.” Undaunted, the McGillivrays went ahead anyway and bought Awatea Orchard in Katikati. Having previously lived … Continue reading McGillivrays’ orchard is ‘rat farm’ no longer

Twelve more Kiwibank Predator Free Communities announced…

From Auckland to Arrowtown and an assortment of towns and suburbs in between – the successful applicants for Round 3 of Kiwibank Predator Free Communities have just been announced. Every winner has a different story, but the 12 successful community groups all have something in common: a determination to free their community of predators and … Continue reading Twelve more Kiwibank Predator Free Communities announced…

Small Ōhiwa community are big supporters of predator control

When Ōhiwa resident Andrew Glaser pitched the concept of a management group to coordinate protection efforts on and around the Ōhiwa Headland, the community immediately liked the idea. Andrew found out just how much they liked the idea not long afterwards, when he was walking his dog one evening. The conversation went something like this: … Continue reading Small Ōhiwa community are big supporters of predator control

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

Volunteers are vital at Orokonui

A dedicated team of volunteers contribute an impressive 13,000 hours of work each year to Orokonui Ecosanctuary, just north of Dunedin. “Our volunteers help with every single thing we do,” says Orokonui’s general manager, Chris Baillie. “They have a very strong sense of community ownership of the Ecosanctuary. Volunteers are rostered to come on certain … Continue reading Volunteers are vital at Orokonui

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

Bush savvy volunteers have ‘a bit of a scramble’

Field co-ordinator, John Caygill reckons it’s “a bit of a scramble” checking the traplines on the Rainy Creek Project, “And on some lines there’s a lot of scramble!” he says. Rainy Creek is situated just east of Reefton, on the South Island’s West Coast. John himself lives in Greymouth, an hour’s drive away, but comes … Continue reading Bush savvy volunteers have ‘a bit of a scramble’

Sanctuary raises profile of endemic lizards

In Central Otago the locals are becoming increasingly proud of their giant lizards. “Reptiles are our megafauna,” says Grant Norbury, a Landcare Research scientist based in Alexandra and chair of the Central Otago Ecological Trust, which created a small fenced sanctuary and released the first rare lizards there back in 2009. But the reptiles weren’t … Continue reading Sanctuary raises profile of endemic lizards

Curious Minds project lets kids keep tabs on their tabbies

The secret lives of Taranaki’s pet cats are currently being revealed – thanks to project funding from Curious Minds which has enabled the purchase of 60 cat harnesses fitted with GPS tracking devices. If you live in Taranaki and you’ve always wondered where your cat goes when it’s not at home, now is your chance … Continue reading Curious Minds project lets kids keep tabs on their tabbies

Predator proof nestboxes more than a pipe dream

Kathryn Marshall, helped by a team of Waimea Menz Shed volunteers, with some expert advice from ornithologist Peter Gaze, has designed and tested predator proof nest boxes for kakariki (parakeets) – and it all came about because she wanted to help another rare bird, the mohua (yellowhead). But before kakariki, before mohua even – it … Continue reading Predator proof nestboxes more than a pipe dream

Wild beauty of Matukituki Valley continues to inspire

The beautiful, remote Matukituki Valley is located between Mt Aspiring National Park and Lake Wanaka. It’s mossy beech forests, pristine glaciers, alpine plants and birdlife (including noisy kea on the hut roof), inspired a young James K. Baxter to write ‘Poem in the Matukituki Valley’ back in 1949. Today thousands of visitors come to explore … Continue reading Wild beauty of Matukituki Valley continues to inspire

Antipodes Island – mouse free and back on course

Over a year has gone by. The mice are gone (although final proof won’t come until a revisit in 2018). On Antipodes Island, 760km southeast of Dunedin, 21 species of seabirds and 4 unique species of ground birds, will be preparing to raise their young in an environment completely free of introduced mammalian predators. Hundreds … Continue reading Antipodes Island – mouse free and back on course

Kiwibank Predator Free Goes Bananas in Patumahoe

A banana impersonated a rat and got mashed at a recent school assembly at Patumahoe – and the pupils along with many of their parents got a very visual, not to mention messy, demonstration of the humane killing power of Goodnature’s self-resetting A24 rat traps. Volunteers from Kiwibank Predator Free Patumahoe were splattering banana across … Continue reading Kiwibank Predator Free Goes Bananas in Patumahoe

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 

BRaid offers free trapping workshop – open to all

It’s been a while since we caught up with BRaid—Braided River aid—and lots has been happening in the interim. First up, in the ‘about to happen’ category is a free predator control workshop planned for Saturday 28 October at Woodend in North Canterbury. PFNZ Trust is helping out with costs and the workshop is open … Continue reading BRaid offers free trapping workshop – open to all

Tea-strainers help fight ‘Battle for Banded Rail’

Tracey Murray, Trapping Field Officer for ‘Battle for the Banded Rail’  recently bought 150 mesh tea-strainers online, importing them from a manufacturer in China. So what does anyone do with 150 mesh tea-strainers? Tracey handed them out to her volunteer trappers at a recent ‘Trapping Workshop’ get-together – and not because her volunteers enjoy a … Continue reading Tea-strainers help fight ‘Battle for Banded Rail’

Traps, technology and lizard tales on the Kapiti Coast

‘Many hands make light work’, so the saying goes – although in the case of the Kapiti Coast community, it’s a matter of ‘many volunteers make radio work’. Conservation volunteers, other community members and innovative technology companies from Paekakariki and as far away as Great Barrier Island have all contributed time and expertise. Together they’ve … Continue reading Traps, technology and lizard tales on the Kapiti Coast

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

Puketi Forest Trust’s battle for kokako leads to breeding success

The kokako are back and breeding successfully in Northland’s Puketi Forest, but it’s been a long battle to get them there – a battle fought by the Puketi Forest Trust in partnership with Iwi, the local community and the Department of Conservation, helped out by strong sponsorship support from individuals and philanthropic funders like Foundation … Continue reading Puketi Forest Trust’s battle for kokako leads to breeding success

Children’s author goes ‘predator free’ in latest adventure novel

‘When children’s author, Jon Tucker, was a teenager growing up in Nelson, he married the girl next door and they began to build a boat together; not just a dinghy or small sailboat, but an “old-fashioned, romantic” traditional ketch that they named ‘New Zealand Maid’. Jon and Babs later became teachers and had five sons … Continue reading Children’s author goes ‘predator free’ in latest adventure novel

Al Glen captures predator portraits on camera

Monitoring cryptic animals is one of the big challenges of becoming predator free, according to Auckland-based Landcare Research scientist, Dr Al Glen. “Predators are cryptic,” he says, “and when they’re in low abundance, it’s very hard to detect the last few. Better monitoring is a priority.” Al’s recent research has involved both motion-triggered camera traps … Continue reading Al Glen captures predator portraits on camera

Stoat research is not for the squeamish

WARNING: [stomach] contents may disturb sensitive readers. When Jamie McAulay opens his mail in the morning he often finds “a lovely, delightful, maggoty mess!” Jamie is a Masters student in the University of Otago’s Zoology Department and lately conservation volunteers and professional trappers from Nelson to Fiordland have been posting him their dead stoats. ‘How … Continue reading Stoat research is not for the squeamish

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

Kiwibank funding inspires Karaka Bay community spirit

The small Auckland community of Karaka Bay is only just getting started on their backyard trapping programme but they’re already noticing a difference in their community. It’s a difference in themselves. “I’ve lived here 15 years,” says trapping coordinator Mary Pearson, “And this is our first community project since I’ve been here. Since it started … Continue reading Kiwibank funding inspires Karaka Bay community spirit

Kiwibank helps launch Picton backyard trapping initiative

When Picton organisers heard they’d won a competition to become a Kiwibank Predator Free Community earlier this year, they called a public meeting – and a hundred people turned up! “It was a very good turnout,” says co-ordinator Siobain Browning. “The Kiwibank funding gave us the opportunity to organise a big event and talk to … Continue reading Kiwibank helps launch Picton backyard trapping initiative

Tangihua Lions Lodge expands its outdoor programme to combat predators

Gerald Mannion has a story about the ‘moment of truth’ when he and fellow Tangihua Lions Lodge trustees realised just how much damage introduced predators had done to their forest. But first, a little background… Thirty years ago, the Whangarei Mid Western Lions, a bunch of local farmers, decided that all young people should have … Continue reading Tangihua Lions Lodge expands its outdoor programme to combat predators

Windy Hill restoration brings employment for community

Conservation projects can benefit more than just the local wildlife. There can be significant community benefits too. When a community benefits, their support for conservation grows. Everybody wins. A long-running restoration project on Great Barrier Island shows just how much a local community can gain if a commitment is made to help local people through … Continue reading Windy Hill restoration brings employment for community

Shakespear volunteers welcome new birds to park

Observant visitors to Shakespear Regional Park recently, may have observed a sheep wearing a transmitter. They might even have spotted volunteers, dressed in high-vis vests, in pursuit of that sheep, tracking it with direction-finders. Anyone witnessing this intriguing spectacle no doubt wondered why… Shakespear Park is located on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, 50 minutes north of … Continue reading Shakespear volunteers welcome new birds to park

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

Tāwharanui success is model for open sanctuaries

One day last month Alison Stanes, Chair of the Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Society Inc (TOSSI) was at Tāwharanui monitoring New Zealand dotterels. During the course of the day she saw seven dotterel chicks near fledging, checked on a kaka chick that had fallen out of its nest to make sure that its parents were still feeding … Continue reading Tāwharanui success is model for open sanctuaries

New skink species is one of many Bream Head discoveries

In 2013, rangers at Bream Head Scenic Reserve, in the Whangarei Heads area, discovered a species of skink completely new to science. It is just one of the exciting discoveries made by Bream Head Conservation Trust. The coffee-coloured skink is a distinct species – appropriately named Oligosoma “Bream Head” – and is found within an … Continue reading New skink species is one of many Bream Head discoveries

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

Aorangi Restoration Trust works closely with deerstalkers and community

Many years ago, Clive Paton’s aunt, Noeline Paton, used to run Forest & Bird in Otago. She was an early influence in his life. “She used to send me Forest & Bird magazines when I was young,” Clive recalls, “She sent them even when I was in my early 20s. It always stuck with me … Continue reading Aorangi Restoration Trust works closely with deerstalkers and community

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