John teaching a predator control workshop

How do you make a habitat safe for kiwi? A Q&A with John Bissell

John Bissell of Save the Kiwi wants quality, not quantity, predator control. “Give me better, not just more,” says John.  John is Save the Kiwi’s National Predator Advisor. He works on projects across the country specialising in high-quality predator control to protect threatened species like kiwi. John is a predator control expert with many years … Continue reading How do you make a habitat safe for kiwi? A Q&A with John Bissell

A group of flying birds.

The godwits have returned: A Q&A with Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre

Kuaka/bar-tailed godwits have the right idea. Along with other migratory birds, they enjoy an endless summer.  Each year, as the northern hemisphere’s summer comes to an end, these long-haul experts leave their Alaskan breeding grounds and migrate south. After a non-stop 11,000km flight, Pūkorokoro/Miranda, along the Firth of Thames, is one of the destinations where … Continue reading The godwits have returned: A Q&A with Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre

A dotterel

Omaha community is looking out for its dotterels

Fondly referred to by some as ‘Dots’, New Zealand dotterels are appealing little shore birds, their sharp ‘cheep’ call signalling their constant alertness to possible danger. They need to be watchful. Dotterels nest on the ground, where the camouflage of their colouring gives some protection against aerial predators but not against mammals. Camouflage isn’t much … Continue reading Omaha community is looking out for its dotterels

A group of school children planting

Fostering the birds of Manukapua: Q&A with Tapora Land & Coast Care Group

Kia Puawai ai ngā taonga o Manukapua (fostering the birds of Manukapua) is the project and kaupapa of the Tapora Land & Coast Care Group. This dedicated group is restoring Manukapua, a special sand dune island that holds cultural, spiritual, historical and ecological significance.  Manukapua, also known as Big Sand Island, is located on the … Continue reading Fostering the birds of Manukapua: Q&A with Tapora Land & Coast Care Group

Backyard Legends: Brad Windust from Bay Bush Action

For 10 years, Brad Windust has been trapping introduced predators in sections of the Ōpua State Forest. The Ōpua State Forest spans 2000 hectares and is a coastal lowland Kāuri forest in the heart of the Bay of Islands. This forest is home to rare flora and fauna populations that are seriously under threat. Introduced … Continue reading Backyard Legends: Brad Windust from Bay Bush Action

Rod standing on a big boulder

Backyard Legends: Rod Morris, Nature Photographer & Conservationist

Rod Morris has been telling stories about our natural history for more than four decades. He’s been a zookeeper, a teacher, an author, and a wildlife ranger. For half of that period, he was a natural-history filmmaker, producing and directing documentaries about some of our best-loved birds – kiwi, kākāpō, kōkako, kea, kakī (black stilt), … Continue reading Backyard Legends: Rod Morris, Nature Photographer & Conservationist

Bridget with some school children

Backyard Legends: Bridget Palmer

‘Whakatāne’s kiwi lady’ Bridget Palmer is dedicated to protecting the environment and saving the North Island brown kiwi. For over 18 years, Bridget was a Conservation Ranger for the Department of Conservation (DOC) working to protect our amazing wildlife and Whakatāne’s reputation as the ‘kiwi capital of the world’.  More recently, Bridget left DOC to … Continue reading Backyard Legends: Bridget Palmer

Kiwi deep in a dark burrow

What is it like running a kiwi crèche? A Q&A with PWT

The Paparoa Wildlife Trust is a small community organisation made up of dedicated locals who are passionate about looking after the roroa (great spotted kiwi) in their backyard.  Since 2006, the Paparoa Wildlife Trust has been running a trapping programme in the southern Paparoa Ranges, north of Greymouth on the West Coast. Today, it is … Continue reading What is it like running a kiwi crèche? A Q&A with PWT

Photographing our lesser-known natives: A Q&A with Sam the animal man

Wildlife photographer Sam Purdie is capturing our lesser-known natives on camera. He hopes that by photographing them, it will raise the awareness of these special and often endangered species. Sam is a self-described ‘animal man’ who has studied zoology and is passionate about all of our native fauna – great and small.  We’re speaking with Sam … Continue reading Photographing our lesser-known natives: A Q&A with Sam the animal man

Two men with traps at a stall

Predator Free Backyard Funding 2021 Announced

We are pleased to announce eleven community groups who will receive Predator Free Backyard Communities funding. We received over a hundred applications and the majority were from highly motivated groups ready to make a difference in their communities. Friends of Riverpark Reserve, Auckland Friends of Riverpark Reserve is an existing group that has made great … Continue reading Predator Free Backyard Funding 2021 Announced

Sam Gibson of Eastern Whio Link holding a trout he's caught beside a river bed

Protecting a very special duck: Q&A with Eastern Whio Link

The Eastern Whio Link is a conservation project with a difference. Based in the Upper Waioeka between Gisborne and Ōpōtiki, this project is dedicated to restoring a healthy whio (blue duck) population to the Waioeka waterways. We’re going to be chatting with Sam Gibson from The Eastern Whio Link. Sam is an active hunter and … Continue reading Protecting a very special duck: Q&A with Eastern Whio Link

Ranger, illustrator and bird nerd: Sarah Little

Sarah Little spends her time caring for kākāpo on Whenua Hou, tramping around Aotearoa and telling conservation stories through her popular cartoons.  Today, we’re chatting with the incredible conservationist behind the cartoons. Sarah, thank you so much for the opportunity to interview you today.  Firstly, what sparked your passion for conservation? I’ve been obsessed with … Continue reading Ranger, illustrator and bird nerd: Sarah Little

Predator Free Backyards funding is now open

The current round of Predator Free Backyard Communities funding is open. Communities wanting to become predator free can now apply for funding that will support trapping in their backyards.  To be eligible to apply for funding a community should be a suburb or town, or a community of rural houses clustered together. The programme specifically … Continue reading Predator Free Backyards funding is now open

Karen Schumacher releases a kokako.

A salute to our conservation heroines

Conservation heroines – they’re all around us… everyday people like your neighbour, your Mum, your friend, or that clever inventor who lives at the end of your street. Conservation heroines are women who are using their passion, skills and talents to help our endangered wildlife to survive and thrive in our neighbourhoods and in the … Continue reading A salute to our conservation heroines

New book invites children to be ‘nature heroes’ too

New Zealand Nature Heroes by Gillian Candler (Published by Potton and Burton) is a book I would have loved to have received as a child. New Zealand Nature Heroes is intended for an 8-14 years age group, it is pitched as ‘inspiration and activities for young conservationists’ and the book is exactly that. Each section … Continue reading New book invites children to be ‘nature heroes’ too

Hidden haven off Coromandel’s 309 Road

Take a drive along Coromandel’s spectacular scenic 309 Road and there’s a spot, somewhere around halfway between Coromandel town and Whitianga where a tarseal street branches off from the famous winding gravel 309. A steel security gate stops the curious from venturing any further without an invitation – so what actually lies beyond? Believe it … Continue reading Hidden haven off Coromandel’s 309 Road

Mamaku Point ranger doesn’t let age hold him back

Ernie Mason remembers that growing up, helping his parents break in their farm, he was always a kid for the bush… always hunting. Its a love that’s stayed with him throughout his working life. At 72 years old Ernie is still going strong, working around 15 days per month as biosecurity ranger at Mamaku Point … Continue reading Mamaku Point ranger doesn’t let age hold him back

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

A possum and rat interacting with bait station

Dave Edwards aims to make Sentinel possum traps more user friendly

Traps need a powerful spring mechanism to kill humanely and that can make them difficult and a bit daunting to set, especially traps designed for larger pests and predators like possums and ferrets. Dave Edwards is a retired engineer, long-time community trapper (for Bay of Plenty kiwi and kōkako groups) and an innovative investigator. After … Continue reading Dave Edwards aims to make Sentinel possum traps more user friendly

A windswept forest

Ancient totara dune forest becomes new Southland reserve

In the far south of the South Island, in Otatara, Southland, there is a totara dune forest where ancient trees bend and twist and brace themselves against the prevailing winds. Sculpted by the winds, they grow in unusual shapes on the higher parts of the dry sand dunes. “Totara dune forests are unusual and pretty … Continue reading Ancient totara dune forest becomes new Southland reserve

A cat looking out a window

Fenced in felines – keeping cats and wildlife safe

Barbara Clarke’s cats, Sammy and Smudge enjoy a fantastic view over the Pukawa bush reserve from their favourite sunspot on the deck. But because they’re indoor cats that’s as close as they get to the rich birdlife and insect life in the adjacent forest. Pukawa is located roughly halfway between Turangi and Taumarunui. Barbara and … Continue reading Fenced in felines – keeping cats and wildlife safe

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

Students in the bush

Better together? A review of community conservation hubs in New Zealand

Community conservation hubs are the subject of much, if very recent, discussion in New Zealand. As a result the Predator Free NZ Trust recently commissioned a report from The Catalyst Group’s Dr Marie Doole (nee Brown) looking into hubs, their challenges, benefits and what support they need to ensure success. In recent years community conservation … Continue reading Better together? A review of community conservation hubs in New Zealand

Eion in the bush setting rat traps.

Tree-mounted rat trap boxes prove successful for Russell Peninsula group

Eion Harwood, coordinator for Russell Landcare Trust’s ‘Kiwi Protection’ project, has been spending a lot of time observing rat behaviour on the 15 trail cameras that the group has set up across 450 hectares of the Russell Peninsula where they carry out intensive rat control. The group also carries out stoat and possum control over … Continue reading Tree-mounted rat trap boxes prove successful for Russell Peninsula group

tīeke on a branch

Tīeke – legendary teller of fortunes and guardian of treasure

Tīeke have a legendary reputation as guardians, weather-predictors, fortune-tellers and guides, although their saddle-like markings are said to be a sign that they once displeased Māui-pōtiki and were marked when he grabbed them with a hot hand and singed their feathers. Long ago, when tīeke (saddlebacks) were common, they often followed large flocks of whiteheads … Continue reading Tīeke – legendary teller of fortunes and guardian of treasure

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

Latest round of predator free communities announced

We are pleased to announce the addition of another 11 communities to our Predator Free Community programme — taking the total number of communities we support to 66. The latest round of funding was highly competitive. The majority of applications were from well organised, highly motivated communities wanting to make a difference in their backyards. … Continue reading Latest round of predator free communities announced

Elwyn Welch – a man, his bantams and a tale of takahē

Elwyn Welch was a Wairarapa farmer who loved birds. Most people have probably never heard of him, but back in the 1950s, he and his specially trained bantam hens had a vital role to play in the conservation and breeding of the recently rediscovered takahē. Elwyn and the bantams were recruited for a top-secret mission … Continue reading Elwyn Welch – a man, his bantams and a tale of takahē

An aerial shot of Limestone Island

Near-barren island transformed to harbour sanctuary

Matakohe – Limestone Island in Whangarei Harbour, was once the site of Matakohe pa, with extensive kumara gardens. Later ‘Limestone Island’ was home to a cement works, one of the earliest industrial sites in Whangarei and founded in 1856. Then, after the cement works was abandoned, limestone was quarried on the island until 1963. The … Continue reading Near-barren island transformed to harbour sanctuary

A group of people stand amongst the dunes with tools.

Breeding season underway for yellow-eyed penguins – 2019 Bird of the Year

It’s ‘all go’ for yellow-eyed penguins – 2019 Bird of the Year – and those who help protect them. ‘Penguin Season’ is underway in Otago and Southland as staff and volunteers from the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust search for this year’s nests in North Otago, Otago Peninsula and the Catlins. Dave McFarlane is Field Manager for … Continue reading Breeding season underway for yellow-eyed penguins – 2019 Bird of the Year

A group of kids on a muddy road.

Predator Free Whiriwhiri forms to halt return of possums and rats

When software developer, Andy Saunders, returned from the UK a few years ago, he bought a property in Whiriwhiri, a stone’s throw from where he grew up in North West Waikato. “When we arrived in 2010 the bird life here was phenomenal! We counted 12 kererū in our pōhutukawa one day (Andy took a photo … Continue reading Predator Free Whiriwhiri forms to halt return of possums and rats

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

Bushy Point volunteers hold Triple Celebration

Otatara Landcare Group (OLG) in Southland has just celebrated its 20th year and two other impressive milestones: OLG’s total volunteer effort has reached 15,000 volunteer hours and 30,000 locally grown native plants have now been planted at its flagship restoration project at Bushy Point! So how did Otatara Landcare’s volunteers celebrate? They planted more trees, … Continue reading Bushy Point volunteers hold Triple Celebration

A dotterel

MIRO helps out overlooked banded dotterels

For the last 20 years or so, an area of gravel has been slowly forming at Robinson Bay on the Eastbourne foreshore, just across the harbour from Wellington City. Then about 9 years ago banded dotterels (pohowera/tūturiwhatu) arrived and began trying to breed on the beach, right in front of Eastbourne’s houses. The shingle expanse … Continue reading MIRO helps out overlooked banded dotterels

Biodiversity strategy discussion document

The NZ Biodiversity Strategy is an important document that sets out the framework for how we protect our biodiversity and ensure it thrives over the next 50 years. The Department of Conservation has recently released a discussion document which will help inform the final strategy. This document is particularly important to those involved in community … Continue reading Biodiversity strategy discussion document

Photo of Hannah drawing a bird by hand

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

Biosecurity essential to success of Project Island Song

Project Island Song is a Bay of Islands wildlife sanctuary that celebrates the native subtropical habitat, lush with vegetation and alive with birdsong. Thousands of trees have been planted, and five rare and endangered species have been reintroduced with more reintroductions planned. The project is a partnership between community conservation group the Guardians of the … Continue reading Biosecurity essential to success of Project Island Song

A possum and rat interacting with bait station

Bait station modification baffles bait-stealing possums

For community groups carrying out predator control it can be a real struggle to get rat numbers down to a level that allows small native birds to successfully breed in spring. One frustrating issue can be possums cleaning out the bait in your bait stations before the rats get to it, meaning large amounts of … Continue reading Bait station modification baffles bait-stealing possums

Ten more Kiwibank Predator Free Communities announced…

We are pleased to announce the addition of 10 communities to our Kiwibank Predator Free Community programme — taking the total number of communities to 55. The latest round of funding was highly competitive, with an overwhelming number of applications. The majority of applications were from well organised, highly motivated communities wanting to make a … Continue reading Ten more Kiwibank Predator Free Communities announced…

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

A group of people planting in a wetland

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

tīeke on a branch

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

A small white flower

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

Image a track and native bush

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

A group of volunteers

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

A collection of colourfully-painted tunnels for traps

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

PF resources in a post shop

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

A walkway surrounded by bush

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

Campers relax at Smiths Farm Holiday Park.

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

A kōkako peaking out of an open translocation box ready to be relesed

‘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

People stand in a group around a trap demonstration

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

A car full of traps and tunnels

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

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…

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

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

Image credit: PF Sumner. A community making Traps

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

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

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:(voice … Continue reading Small Ōhiwa community are big supporters of predator control

Volunteers working around a pond

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

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’

Skink on a rock

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

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

Gillian and Derek checking and setting traps in the forest.

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

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

Ian witha kiwi in the forest

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

A kokako on a branch

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

A group of children and adults stand around a tree

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

A group in bright yellow work shifts make traps

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

Two people stand in a sparse forest with trapping gear

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

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

A group of volunteers

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