Predator Free New Zealand

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  • Rats, elevation and implications of climate change July 27, 2017
    Ship rats are known to be good and climbing trees – but what are they like at climbing mountains? If our climate gets warmer, might rats go to new heights in the search for new territory and food? Scientists Jennifer Christie and Graeme Elliott from DOC’s Christchurch office, along with Peter Wilson and Rowley Taylor […]
  • Al Glen captures predator portraits on camera July 23, 2017
    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 […]
  • Conservation geneticists want to build a bridge to DOC July 20, 2017
    Conservation genetics has implications for all sorts of conservation measures whether it be choosing the source birds for a translocation to a new sanctuary to ensure sufficient genetic diversity, ‘forensic’ type investigations to identify the source of a newly arrived predator on an island (where a swimming stoat has come from, for example), or research […]
  • Stoat research is not for the squeamish July 16, 2017
    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 […]
  • What’s the story with genetic pest management (GPM)? July 13, 2017
    Breakthrough genetic technologies are likely to play a key role in achieving a predator-free future. But it’s important that we understand what the various technologies are now – as they’re being developed – not when they’re about to be implemented. We need to debate the issues and become as informed as possible; to know if […]
  • Wind beneath their wings July 9, 2017
    New Zealand is the albatross capital of the world, with more than a dozen varieties. So where do they all live and why are so many of them classed as vulnerable? It can be difficult to imagine how big an albatross is until you’re standing next to one. The Southern Royal albatrosses were nesting when […]
  • Putting the case for ‘bottom up’ July 6, 2017
    Mostly we get rid of introduced predators by, well – killing predators. It works, up to a point. But if you can’t get rid of every single rat or stoat then the few survivors suddenly find themselves with ample food supplies and very little competition. They breed and they breed very successfully. Numbers climb rapidly […]
  • Open Source is key to bringing back the cacophony July 2, 2017
    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 […]
  • Liberation of stoats and weasels – a look back in time June 29, 2017
    Why did they do it? What possessed New Zealand’s government of the day, its citizens and acclimatisation societies to introduce rabbits and then stoats? It’s easy to judge in hindsight. But perhaps we should do more than judge. A better understanding of what they were thinking at the time might help stop us making similar […]
  • Icy beginning for Mapua Dawn Chorus June 25, 2017
    Mapua Dawn Chorus held an open day recently to kick off their backyard trapping. There’s already an extensive trapping network around the nearby Waimea estuary, but with funding from the Kiwibank Predator Free Communities programme the Mapua Dawn Chorus are extending into the township of Mapua. The open day was on a Saturday when a […]