During the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, we hosted several webinars on a range of predator control topics. Below are the recorded versions.
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Webinar # 15: if you plant it, they will come
Rod Morris, a well-known NZ wildlife photographer, film and documentary maker, shows us the many native creatures thriving in his backyard after predator control work has been done.
Rod has also been involved in many conservation initiatives, including takahē recovery, searches in Fiordland for kākāpō, and rescue missions to save the Chatham Island black robin.
Webinar # 14: the evolution of possum control from the 90’s till now
Possums are a serious threat to our forests and native wildlife. So what is the best strategy for controlling them? Darren Peters shares 30 years of possum management expertise.
Webinar # 13: Protecting our tiny and precious native frogs
New Zealand only has four species of native frog left – Archey’s, Hochstetter’s, Maud Island and Hamilton – and they are all teetering on the edge of extinction. Did you know they don’t have a tadpole stage or croak like other frog species? Dr Rebecca Stirnemann tells us more about them and what you can do to help them survive.
Here is an information sheet on the Hochstetter’s frog.
Webinar # 12: Using cameras & artificial intelligence for monitoring
Cameras are used to monitor the abundance and distribution of wild animals. However, checking the images can be extremely time consuming. Artificial intelligence can automate this process.
Al Glen from Manaaki Whenua discusses using cameras and how they ‘trained’ computer models to improve accuracy. He also covers other emerging developments, such as thermal cameras and ‘smart traps’.
Webinar # 11: New detection devices, lures, toxins and traps
A number of exciting new predator control tools are currently in development and they could change predator control significantly for all of us.
From long life lures to highly accurate detection devices and species specific toxins — the future is looking bright. Helen Blackie from Boffa Miskell talks about the range of tools in the pipeline.
Webinar # 10: Where to next for kākāpo?
The kākāpo has been saved from extinction by New Zealand’s longest running species conservation effort and some of the world’s most intensive conservation management.
But as the population grows, it’s future is still uncertain. Already facing huge fertility and disease problems, there’s a new challenge: finding enough predator free habitat for these unique birds.
Dr Andrew Digby from the Kākāpo Recovery Team shares his experience of saving one of our most treasured birds.
Webinar #9: Waiheke Island — a world first?
Waiheke Island has an ambition to be the world’s first predator free urban island.
There are no possums on the island and stoat eradication is currently underway. It’s a big challenge with 9,000 permanent residents and over one million tourists every year.
Mary Frankham and Paul Kviecinskas share the challenges and data complexities of this project.
Webinar # 8: How to engage a community
Dan Henry has been a Miramar (Wellington) local for over 15 years and there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.
In 2017, he set up Predator Free Miramar and encouraged the community to start backyard trapping. Three years later, there are over 1,400 traps in the area. They have caught a whopping 10,000 introduced predators and kaka and kākāriki have been seen doing flybys in their suburb.
Dan shares his knowledge in this webinar.
Dan has also written a resource called ‘How to kill rats and engage a community‘. Despite the title, this is not an instruction manual on how another group should proceed; what makes these projects so great is that there’s no one way of doing it.
This is simply, to the best of Dan’s recollection, the story of what they did at Predator Free Miramar, recorded here in the hope that it might provide some help for other trapping groups starting out.
Webinar # 7: So you want to be a bat-spotter?
Ben Paris, also known as New Zealand Batman, is a real life conservation superhero. By day he works at Auckland Council but come night time he is NZ’s greatest champion for our only native land mammals.
Ben talks about our native bats, their threats and what he’s been doing with the community in Auckland.
- Community Waitakere sell the glossy bat posters for $5 each (plus P&P)
- watch a bat catching video and bat pollination video
- Bat detectors are available from the UK
Webinar # 6: Tailoring your approach to suit the landscape
Taranaki Taku Tūranga — Towards Predator Free Taranaki is an inspirational project that aims to protect and enhance the region’s precious taonga by removing rats, possums and mustelids (stoats, ferrets and weasels).
The project works across a range of land types in the region including farmland, urban land, public parks, reserves and also connects with the Taranaki Mounga project.
Toby Shanley discusses their project and how they’ve tailored their approach to three distinct project areas; rural, urban and the Kaitake range. He covers the tools and technologies, challenges and the progress they have made.
Webinar #5: Maintaining zero predators
Once introduced predators are removed from a defined area how can they be prevented from reinvading and re-establishing a population? Use of a variety of barriers — both natural and ‘virtual’ — along with sensitive detection and response tools are all options being explored by Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP).
ZIP was established to develop innovative technologies that completely remove rats, possums and stoats from large mainland areas and then defend those areas from reinvasion. A model they call Remove and Protect.
Phil Bell, ZIP’s Innovation Director, discusses some of the tools and technologies they have been exploring to defend an area from reinvasion.
Webinar # 4: Tailor your trap network – project design and layout
Find out how to design an effective trap network for stoats and rats.
Goodnature’s Technical Expert, Sam Gibson, shares his experience, tips and tricks.
Sam’s role includes going by helicopter or boat to remote areas to layout traps. He gets to trap in some of New Zealand’s most extraordinary locations including the Hollyford Valley, Raukumara Ranges and Pomona Island.
Webinar # 3: AT220 for possums and rats
The AT220 self resetting trap was one of five ‘products to projects initiatives’ that recently received funding from Predator Free 2050 Ltd. Made by NZ Autotraps, it works for rats, possums and mice.
The trap self-resets up to 100 times with 6 months between services and features auto-rebaiting, daylight deactivation and night time reactivation. It also meets NAWAC guidelines.
Kevin Bain and Haydn Steel share their knowledge and expertise.
Webinar #2: Expert trapping tips
Cam Speedy from Wildlife Management Associates has over 40 years of experience in predator, threatened species and ecosystem management.
‘Attention-to-detail’ is Cam’s number one tip for trapping. He believes if you just ‘plonk’ trapping kit in the bush with little thought, it’s a waste of your time. Ineffective kit sitting around, catching nothing and rotting in our forests is an increasing issue we can’t afford if we want to achieve a predator free NZ by 2050.
Join Cam as he shares his vast knowledge and expertise.
Webinar #1: Predator Free Wellington — Creating an urban environment for nature
Predator Free Wellington started out with an incredibly ambitious goal to eradicate every rat, stoat and weasel on the Miramar Peninsula.
There are around 3,000 households and businesses hosting a bait station or trap on their property on the peninsula. This is an area of 1,200 ha where over 20,000 people work, live and play.
Predator Free Wellington Project Director, James Willcocks, shares his knowledge.