We were delighted to see so many junior pest detectives at our booth at Pest Fest 2015, on Wellington's waterfront, yesterday.
Pest Fest, organised by the Department of Conservation as part of Conservation Week 2015, attracted lots of youngsters and their families, who learnt about plant and animal pests in New Zealand and what can be done to control them.
Stoats are, unfortunately, widespread in New Zealand but, being generally solitary and wary, they’re not often seen.
However, John Abel sent us this photo of a stoat, well camouflaged amongst rocks on the hills above Lyttelton, where he has regularly been seeing them recently.
Meanwhile, DOC Technical Adviser, Nick Poutu, has seen stoat tracks in mud several times when out and about. He sent us a photograph of stoat footprints in mud, which has now filled a gap in our stoat clue section. He found the prints on a track that crosses through scrub on the edge of some regenerating podocarp hardwood forest, near Turangi.
Thanks, John and Nick!
These footprints left on paper in a tracking tunnel tell us both a cat and a mouse walked through. Maybe Tom was chasing Jerry but it's more likely they went through at different times.
We received this photograph from Jon Anda, who asked for help in identifying what was digging holes in and under rotting pine stumps at his place near Motueka.
Biosecurity is about protecting our environment from biological threats to biodiversity, our health or the economy. In New Zealand it involves preventing unwanted organisms from entering the country and controlling any that do arrive or are already here.
Pest Detective focuses on identifying the presence of vertebrate pest animals in New Zealand so that they can be monitored and controlled. We still have more of these pests to cover, such as wallabies, tahr, magpies and rooks. If you are interested in sponsoring a new culprit page please contact us.
The discovery of 19 bird corpses strewn in a small area on Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula, in January this year, prompted a search for clues to identify the culprit.
Want to help fill the gaps in our collection of pest animal clue photographs?
If so, please take your cameras when out in the field and look out for examples of the following animal sign to record. Images should be at least 1000 x 1000 pixels. It's also helpful to include a ruler or object to show relative scale.