Pest Detective went live on 25 November at a function hosted by the project initiator, National Pest Control Agencies (NPCA).
NPCA National Co-ordinator, Maurice Kennedy, said Pest Detective has filled a gap by bringing together, in one place, pest animal sign information for New Zealanders.
“It’s been a complex project, involving not only the compilation of information but also the development of a website as a custom-designed search tool and the sourcing of several hundred images."
The project could not have happened without the support of Pest Detective’s sponsors and project partners, which include the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board, OSPRI New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, Local Government, and Ministry for Primary Industries.
OSPRI New Zealand Chief Executive, William McCook, said OSPRI is keen to be supporting the project and collaborating with NPCA as part of its TB-free programme, which has recently expanded its focus beyond pure possum control to wider biodiversity outcomes.
Allan Ross, Manager, Ecosystems and Species, Department of Conservation (DOC) congratulated NPCA on developing a “very practical tool” that was highly appropriate to DOC’s future direction.
“DOC is fostering partnership and community collaboration and looking for ways to lift our effectiveness and efficiency. NPCA is very good at pulling together science and operational requirements.”
Pest Detective has been three years in the making, preliminary feasibility scoping, funding and completing stage 1 of likely ongoing development. Initially, a printed field guide was envisaged but it became apparent that a website would be more easily updated and expanded as resources allow.
Maurice Kennedy acknowledged the enthusiasm of the project team, comprising Shona McCahon (project management); Signify Ltd (website development); Wildlands Consultants (content writing and image selection); Station Creative (branding and graphic design); Landcare Research (peer review) and What’s the Story (drawings). Some team members also contributed to the project through sponsorship.
Further website development, such as adding more species and illustrations, will occur as resources allow. In the meantime, feedback and suggestions are invited.
Contact: Maurice Kennedy (04) 499 7559
Photograph: Pest Detective project team members (left to right): Bruce Warbuton (Landcare Research); Sarah Meaken and Samantha Garcia (Signify Ltd); Maurice Kennedy (NPCA); Shona McCahon (project manager); and Astrid van Meeuwen-Dijkgraaf (Wildlands Consultants).
Photo by: Earp-Jones Originals Ltd