Sometimes, when running a trap line or training new volunteers, having a set of reminders is useful. Our new checklist has streamlined the process, ensuring efficiency and safety – you can download it here, print and share it with your community, or hang it in your shed (it matches nicely with our predator control calendar).
What comes to mind when you think of a gull? Noisy seaside neighbours? Picnic scavengers? How about declining species? 1. Three types of native gulls We’ve got three species of native gull in Aotearoa New Zealand. There’s the big guys: karoro (black-backed gull). You can recognise them by their size and the little red mark … Continue reading Native chippy pinchers: 5 surprising facts about our native gulls
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how Holly Neill created her own Mokomoko Manor, a haven where multiple skink buddies now live their best lives in her backyard on the Kapiti Coast. To start, all you need is a sunny, undisturbed part of your garden and a few specific items to kick things off. A crucial … Continue reading Mokomoko Manor: how to create your own lizard garden
Incorporating predator free activities into your summer is fun and fulfilling, but don’t just take our word for it. Here are five ideas that will fit seamlessly into your quintessential Kiwi summer. BBQ small talk Any good summer in New Zealand is filled with family BBQs and endless bags of chips, but eventually you might … Continue reading Hatch a plan: 5 ways to kick off your predator free summer
The holidays are nearly upon us. Don’t freak out. Our predator free-friendly gift guide is curated with thoughtful and eco-conscious ideas that bring joy to your loved ones and contribute to protecting New Zealand’s unique wildlife. DIY predator free kit Everything you need to get your friends and family started in predator control is in … Continue reading Predator free gift guide 2023
Breeding programmes have done a great job of bolstering kiwi numbers, but due to the need for large home ranges, do we have enough kiwi-safe spaces to comfortably house them? As we switch from avoiding extinction to species management, a new challenge arises: finding safe habitat. Kiwi home ranges can be anywhere from two to … Continue reading Running out of space: kiwi translocations
At Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne kākā, tīeke and hihi (stitchbird), little spotted kiwi and takahē create a lively canopy and forest floor. But behind the scenes, there is a complex web of connections. In this ecological blockbuster, every species plays a vital part. Zealandia’s senior communication advisor, Gini Letham, explains. Birds are the recognisable … Continue reading Why is Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne translocating so many “unusual” species?
From boardrooms to the bush, from artists’ studios to the laboratories of scientists, from golf courses to community meeting halls, a diverse array of people have united under the common banner of preserving our precious wildlife. Artists When it comes to protecting the native and endemic wildlife of Aotearoa, a pen and a camera can … Continue reading The faces of the predator free movement
For nearly a decade, the Trust has been writing all things predator free from breakthrough science to the best baits to try. Have you read our most popular articles? 7 surprising facts you should know about possums At one point, possums in New Zealand rivalled the sheep population. Brought into New Zealand to start a … Continue reading 10 most-read articles of all time
Join us on a journey through time as we celebrate a decade of achievements with the Predator Free New Zealand Trust, from humble beginnings to conservation milestones. A group of passionate conservationists rallied behind the fact that our generation may be the last to save our unique native bird, bat and insect species before they’re … Continue reading Snapshots from the past: 10 years of the Predator Free New Zealand Trust
Traps can get grungy and lose their effectiveness if we don’t give them some love and attention. Rats, possums or mustelids – whatever your target, a little trap maintenance will help you to keep getting results. So, let’s dive into five super easy ways to look after your trap and keep it catching! Remember to … Continue reading 5 ways to give your trap some TLC
What are the top-polling political parties thinking and saying about Predator Free 2050? We reached out to them and this is what they had to say. Political parties Act Green Labour National New Zealand First Te Pāti Māori Act The ACT party recognises the challenges posed by predators to New Zealand’s natural and agricultural environments. … Continue reading What do our political parties think about Predator Free 2050?
For years, Reino Grundling was living two lives. He worked in the complicated world of international logistics by day, but his real passion was volunteering to trap and control possums, stoats, and rats across Wellington in his spare time. International logistics was a career that spanned more than two decades of Reino’s life. “It sounded … Continue reading From corporate life to conservation – how one man made the switch
In early September, a unique summer visitor to Aotearoa begins to grace our shores, migrating from the tropics. The pīpīwharauroa (shining cuckoo) certainly make an impression with their intriguing behaviours. From unusual breeding strategies to quirky culinary tastes, here are 5 curious facts about the shining cuckoo. 1. You won’t see a shining cuckoo raising … Continue reading Mystery, migration and mucous membranes: 5 curious facts about the shining cuckoo
That little line above certain vowels makes a big difference when it comes to the pronunciation and meaning of te reo Māori. Illustrator Matt Russell takes a closer look at why tohutō (macron) matter when it comes to te reo taiao (language of the environment). Enable macrons on your phone (Android and Apple) and computer … Continue reading Comic: macrons matter
This comic is brought to you by the talented illustrator Sarah Maybe Little, explaining a study into where surging rat numbers come from during high-elevation beech masts. RELATED The vision for a predator free 2050 Study reveals surprising insights on rat behaviour in NZ forests Ranger, illustrator and bird nerd: Sarah Little How a wildlife … Continue reading Comic: solving the rat surge puzzle
Aotearoa New Zealand’s biodiversity extends far beyond our feathery friends. Prepare to be wowed by these five native species, from bizarre fuzzy weevils to very smelly bats. Elephant weevils – the fuzzy architects of the trees The elephant weevil is a strange critter found throughout New Zealand. This stout little insect is adorned with an … Continue reading 5 weird and wonderful native animals that aren’t birds
So, you’ve set your possum trap, hoping to make a dent in the possum population destroying your fruit trees and eating birds’ eggs and invertebrates in your backyard…but your trap remains untouched. It’s time to try our troubleshooting tips to turn your luck around: 1. Find the right spot First things first, let’s check your … Continue reading Troubleshooting tips: what to do if your possum trap isn’t catching any possums
Is peanut butter not attracting predators like it used to? Let’s shake things up with five lures that’ll make your trap the hottest dining spot for rats, stoats or possums. But first, we need to understand the feeding behaviour of the introduced predators we’re trying to trap. Rats are the ultimate omnivores. They don’t discriminate … Continue reading What’s on the menu? 5 lures that aren’t peanut butter
Conservation success stories don’t get much more dramatic than the tale of the takahē. Takahē: Bird of Dreams takes readers on the rollercoaster of takahē conservation over the last 75 years. Written by award-winning broadcaster, writer and zoologist Alison Ballance, this beautiful book is filled with photographs of the birds and the people who’ve cared … Continue reading A dreamy new takahē book hits the shelves
Do cats rule us, or do we rule cats? When your fluffy friend lounges across your laptop keyboard or nibbles you on the ankle when dinner isn’t laid out fast enough, it seems like the answer is debatable, but here’s something that isn’t: owning a cat comes with responsibilities. Our roaming domestic cats are hunting … Continue reading 5 ways to up your game as a responsible cat owner
Every trapper has felt the same frustration at checking a trap and finding the bait gone, but the trap still set. Who is the culprit, and how can you stop them? Peanut butter, mayonnaise, Nutella and dried meat are tasty treats to lure in rats or possums, but they aren’t the only ones who enjoy … Continue reading Is your bait disappearing, but you’re catching nothing?
Are you a pro at spotting tūī and kererū? Here are five more native backyard birds to get to know. Use appearance, sounds and behaviours as clues for identification. Taking note of the birds in your backyard is more than just fun. The Garden Bird Survey needs you to identify and count birds to help … Continue reading What bird is in my backyard?
More kinds of toroa (albatross) breed in Aotearoa New Zealand, than anywhere else in the world. Get to know them this World Albatross Day and try our quiz. Predator free islands in our subantarctic region stand as the last remaining strongholds for toroa survival worldwide. Their breeding grounds are safe thanks to massive predator eradication … Continue reading A tour of toroa
Recently several animal welfare, conservation organisations and government agencies submitted their thoughts on national cat management. It may be surprising that there was a lot of agreement – here’s what they had to say. Parliament’s Environment Select Committee asked the organisations to share their views on the Petition of Erica Rowlands, requesting the mandatory registration … Continue reading Animal welfare agencies’ views on cat management
At one point, possums in New Zealand rivaled the sheep population. Brought into New Zealand to start a fur trade in 1837, the brushtail possum population exploded beyond settlers’ wildest dreams (or nightmares) to an estimated peak of 70 million possums in the 1980s, same as sheep. They are found throughout the country, all the … Continue reading 7 surprising facts you should know about possums
Wildlife photographers reveal the untold stories behind their stunning shots, and we launch our first-ever, Shoot Your Shot competition with Photo Warehouse (now closed). For every stunning wildlife photo you see, there’s a story. When the opportunity for an incredible photo arises, it’s fleeting – just a moment to capture the moment. When it happens, … Continue reading Shooting their shot: the stories behind the stunning photographs
We have some easy ways to set yourself (and your traps) up for success using trail cameras. Predator control specialist Cam Speedy’s five simple tips will improve your camera skills in no time. If you’re tired of empty traps, you’ve probably realised it’s time to expand your trapping toolkit. Wildlife biologist Cam Speedy has over four … Continue reading Smile for the camera: 5 tips for trail cameras
The Trap Audit Manual provides cunning strategies and expert tips to fine-tune your trapping networks, while the Trap Build Manual equips anyone with the know-how to construct their own traps. The Predator Free Hauraki Coromandel Community Trust (PFHCCT) actively assists communities in their region to protect native species from invasive predators. PFHCCT has developed two … Continue reading Empowering communities: Unleash your community’s trapping prowess with these manuals
If you’re looking for a new feathery friend to obsess over, then look no further than the tīeke (saddleback). There’s more to them than striking black feathers, a chestnut saddle and ruby-red wattles. Here are five reasons this bird deserves a spot in your heart, in no particular order. 1. They are the ultimate underdogs … Continue reading 5 reasons the tīeke should be your favourite bird
Do you find puppets a bit weird? Are you mysterious? Love your family above all else? You might have more in common with takahē than you think. Survivors against the odds, there’s a lot we can learn from these New Zealand icons. April is takahē awareness month, we’ve compiled five life lessons from takahē: Always … Continue reading 5 life lessons from our takahē
The key to keeping track of your contribution to predator free 2050 is likely already in your pocket. You might even be using it to read this story. Logging when a trap goes snap may seem like a tiny drop in the ocean. But when combined with others in the community, it can create a … Continue reading Why does logging your trap results matter?
It’s Easter, and supermarkets are jam-packed with chocolate eggs. The association of these symbols of new life with Easter is imported from the northern hemisphere – most of our native species have already finished their egg-laying business as winter approaches. As you crack into yet another chocolate egg this long weekend, spare a thought for … Continue reading Quiz: Guess the egg…
The cicada chorus can signal the beginning of a long hot summer. With various native species, we are lucky to hear their calls in almost every corner of the country. From bizarre fungal enemies to world record titles, here are some of the most exciting facts about Aotearoa New Zealand’s cicadas. They’ll be sure to … Continue reading Hot bug summer: 5 cool facts about New Zealand’s cicadas
As birds lose their old feathers to make way for new healthy ones, they are stressed, vulnerable and grumpy. What can you do about it? Plenty. Imagine having to change your clothes in public, at the park, the bush or the beach. Then imagine it taking a few days, even weeks, to entirely change your … Continue reading Naked & Afraid: help birds during moulting season
From possum nightclubs to garden transformations, these were the most popular stories published by Predator Free New Zealand Trust this year. 1. It’s business time: stoat mating mania and what you can do about it “From the moment they open their eyes as babies, female stoats are almost certainly already pregnant.” That’s an opening line … Continue reading Most read posts of 2022
Gift inspiration for buying for yourself or the wildlife lover in your life. Not just nature-themed, many of these present ideas give back to conservation too, which means you’ll surely end up on Santa’s nice list. Predator Free New Zealand cap Pick up the peak of fashion with our newly released cap to keep the … Continue reading Seasons tweetings: give a nature-friendly gift this year
Tamper-proof bait stations are easy to use and are a great addition to your backyard trapping toolkit. They’ll help you keep introduced predators under control and limit the amount of toxin that gets out into the environment. If you’re keen to set one up but don’t know where to start, or want to make your … Continue reading Quick ways to improve your bait stations
Birds tend to hog the spotlight here in Aotearoa New Zealand but did you know we also have a host of incredible insects, spiders and other invertebrates? To celebrate this colourful cast of critters, The Entomological Society of New Zealand has launched Bug of the Year. Starting on 14 November and running for 3 months, … Continue reading Bug of the Year is finally here!
This annual wall planner is full of useful information to help you tailor your predator control to seasonal changes in the environment and maximise your effectiveness. Information includes what predators might be up to in your landscape at different times of the year including what trees are attractive to possums, when birds are breeding and … Continue reading A new monthly reminder: the predator control calendar you can’t do without
Why do some traps not get much traffic while it’s rush hour at others? We put the question to predator control specialist Cam Speedy to learn why trap placement is so important. It turns out introduced predators prefer a nice trail walk to a rugged bush bash just like we do. Because we rarely see … Continue reading Highways, not byways: increase traffic to your traps
This Halloween, spare a little love for symbols of the spooky season: spiders. Supposedly scary but mostly misunderstood, these eight-legged creatures are vital to nature. There are more than 2000 species of pūngāwerewere (spider) in Aotearoa New Zealand, and most of them are endemic (i.e. as unique as the kiwi and kākāpō). Look beyond their … Continue reading Not creepy, just crawly: spiders are cooler than you think
Predator control specialist Cam Speedy knows a thing or two about trapping after 40 years in the business. And like Cam, the DOC 200 has stood the test of time. Over the last couple of decades, DOC 200s have been put to the test up and down the country in harsh, rugged conditions. When it … Continue reading Get the most out of your DOC 200 trap
To get the most out of your Victor double-set, it’s all about sales and marketing. Based on the success that double-set DOC 200s have, the Victor double-set trap is specially designed to house two Victor professional rat traps. Tunnels like these are a critical part of the trapping toolkit – keeping traps away from native … Continue reading Double trouble: Victor double-set trap
We asked predator control specialist Cam Speedy what makes a successful bait station. Bait stations are a great tool to add to your predator control kit. Tucked away out of the weather (and at least 5m from public tracks), bait stations keep bait fresh and attractive for introduced predators. You can also use them for … Continue reading Boost your bait station
In Aotearoa New Zealand Māori are ‘tangata whenua’ – people of the land. This reflects the importance of te taiao (the environment) to Māori identity, culture, and tikanga. Te reo Māori is shaped by the unique environment and wildlife. There is a depth of meaning to te reo Māori words. Often a one or two-word … Continue reading Why kākāpō are called kākāpō and other wildlife names
Want to do your part to protect our native species but can’t find the time? We’ve got some good news, busy people – joining the predator free movement doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Here are seven easy ways to support the predator free movement in 2022: 1. Make your garden attractive to … Continue reading Time poor? Seven easy ways to join the predator free movement
A possum nightclub might sound like a conservation nightmare, but it’s a great way to give your birdlife a helping hand. Possums breed in March and April and again in September and October. During this time, they’re really promiscuous and are out socialising and moving around a lot. If you have a low number of … Continue reading Give your birdlife a boost and create a possum nightclub
With the affectionate nickname of custard-head, it should be easy to recognise the mōhua (yellowhead). Their bright yellow plumage donning their heads should be a giveaway, right? Wrong. Did you know mōhua have an avian impersonator? Here we take a look at these fascinating birds, their interesting quirks, and the biggest challenges to their survival. … Continue reading Where have all the custard-heads gone? 5 facts on our rare mōhua
Dubbed ‘the clever clowns of the Alps’, kea are much loved for their cheeky spirit and keen intelligence. So it can be shocking to learn that these fun-loving birds are in serious trouble, with populations in decline. So how did we get to this point? And what can be done to save the kea? A … Continue reading Brainy, beautiful and beloved: so why are our kea disappearing?
Steep streams, turbulent rapids and huge boulders are terrains too rough for most ducks – but perfect for a whio (blue duck). It’s Whio Awareness Month! So, let’s have a look at these special ducks that adorn our $10 note with our five top facts on whio. 1. If you find whio, you will find … Continue reading Getting to know our plucky duck: 5 facts about whio
If you still view rats as merely a packet-gnawing, pooping pantry menace, it’s time to take a second look. Rats aren’t simply a nuisance in Aotearoa New Zealand – they’re a rampant threat of extinction proportions. The introduction and later spread of rats throughout New Zealand has had a devastating impact on our native species. … Continue reading Oh, rats! 5 rodent facts that will shock you
Cupid’s bow and arrow have well and truly hit their mark this kākāpō breeding season. We’ve seen mammoth mating sessions, super-sized clutches, and reclusive bachelors getting back in the game. This Valentine’s day, we take a look at one of the most successful kākāpō breeding seasons to date – and what it means for this … Continue reading Love is in the air: bumper breeding season for kākāpō
Conservation and climate change have a lot in common. They are big challenges that require big solutions. The good news? Protecting the environment helps our native species – and can help address climate change too. 1. A predator-free forest absorbs more carbon dioxide Many of us know that forests are climate change warriors, thanks to … Continue reading The missing link: 5 crucial ways conservation and climate change are connected
Escape into nature these summer holidays by visiting some of our amazing New Zealand ecosanctuaries. Some incredible New Zealand ecosanctuaries are worth exploring while you’re out and about in your backyard this summer. From lush ancient forests in the far north to rugged and windswept coastal ecosystems in the far south, there is something just … Continue reading 8 New Zealand ecosanctuaries you can’t miss this summer
A family of titipounamu (rifleman) have made history recently. For the first time in over 100 years, a pair have raised their 5 chicks in Wellington city outside of Zealandia’s predator-proof fence. Titipounamu aren’t as well known as our kiwi or kererū, so what is so special about them? Here are 5 facts you should … Continue reading 5 facts you should know about titipounamu
The holiday season is fast approaching and we have some fantastic gift ideas that our native species will enjoy too! Essential gifts for the backyard Buy a bird feeder Attract native birds to your garden with this New Zealand designed bird feeder kit. Nectar-eating birds such as tūī, bellbird, silvereye, kākā and hihi can drink … Continue reading Our 2021 holiday feel-good gift guide
Get your family excited about helping our native species with these easy, practical activities. Whether you’re having a quiet rainy day or you’re looking for an outdoor project to spruce up your garden, we have 5 fun activities that will help the birds, bugs and lizards in your backyard. We hope you find something you want … Continue reading 5 fun conservation activities for the family
We may be a nation of bird nerds but our native geckos are noteworthy too! There are at least 44 species of native geckos, and more continue to be discovered. From mountain ranges to a messy backyard, geckos inhabit a variety of New Zealand habitats. All of our native lizards, both geckos and skinks, are … Continue reading 5 NZ geckos found nowhere else in the world
New Zealanders join trapping groups for a number of reasons. They may want to protect our native species, leave our country in a better state for future generations or they may feel a strong sense of personal responsibility. Beyond the selfless motivations, joining a trapping group can be of great personal benefit. There are hundreds … Continue reading 5 reasons why it’s time to join your local trapping group
It’s warming up. Our days are getting longer. Many of us are keen to get out and enjoy the outdoors, even if it’s in our own backyards. A lot of our native birds are busy at this time building nests, incubating eggs and getting extra food for hungry chicks. Introduced predators like possums and rats … Continue reading Our top tips for Springtime
In the 1830s rabbits were brought to New Zealand, and within a few decades, their population had ballooned. By 1870 they were considered an agricultural pest and farmers were desperate for a way to control their numbers. Many saw the solution to introduce ferrets, the natural predators of rabbits in England, even though some naturalists … Continue reading 5 Surprising Ferret Facts
We’ve pulled together some tips to make your trap more effective. 1. Know your rat To trap rats successfully you need to know more about them, specifically their behaviours and what motivates them. Here are some interesting facts you should know about them: Rats thrive around humans Humans provide lots of food sources for rats … Continue reading Troubleshooting tips: What to do when your rat trap isn’t catching any rats
New Zealand’s most commonly encountered reptile is the skink. You may have even spotted one in your garden. It is estimated we have around 60 native species of skinks that are widely distributed across the country and some have only been discovered in the last decade. None of our native lizards (both geckos and skinks) … Continue reading 5 NZ skinks found nowhere else in the world
Love the idea of attracting native wildlife into your backyard? Here are 5 ways to make your garden a safe haven. 1. Trap rats Attracting native species to your backyard is great but make sure it’s a safe place for the birds, bugs and lizards that visit. Rats prey upon native birds, chicks and eggs, … Continue reading 5 ways to make your garden a safe haven for native species
It hasn’t got the huge international fanbase of the kākāpō, the show-stopper song of a tūī, bellbird or kōkako or the national icon status of kiwi. Ngutuparore – the wrybill – is a modest little river plover that no-one takes much notice of. But the wrybill’s got something that’s not found in any other bird … Continue reading Little bird has bend in beak
Have you ever wondered what kind of wildlife hang out in your garden? There are sure to be birds, but are there weta in your woodpile? Do geckos lurk in your trees and bushes? Are skinks secretly sunbathing on big warm stones or in the longer grass? Skinks and geckos can be secretive. They scuttle … Continue reading Going on a Backyard Safari
Robbie Van Dam from Goodnature discusses their automatic self resetting traps. You will learn: how to use the traps in the most effective way (for different pest animals) trap placement about the most effective lures some insights into their community projects about Goodnature’s latest product developments.
Darren Peters from the Department of Conservation discusses the DOC series of traps (150, 200 and 250). You can expect to learn: how to use the DOC series of traps in the most effective way (for different pest animals) trap placement about the most effective lures about some of the landscape scale projects Darren’s involved … Continue reading Learn how to get the most out of your DOC trapping series (webinar)
The mohua, or yellowhead, is a small bird with a bright yellow head and breast. Early settlers called it the ‘bush canary’ because of its colour and beautiful song. The mohua’s story is a familiar one, of population decline since the 1800s. In the 1800s, the mohua was one of the most common birds in … Continue reading Mohua facts