When the Pickard family set up a tracking tunnel in their back yard in Arrowtown they expected to get rat prints but the only clear print they got didn’t look right. So they sent this photo to us at Pest Detective and asked what we thought.
It wasn’t a complete paw print but there was enough evidence to suggest it was a hedgehog’s.
When it comes to controlling animal pests in New Zealand, it’s essential to keep watching out for signs that they are present and, especially, signs that they are increasing in numbers or spreading.
The principle of continual observation is the key message in this year’s Biosecurity Week theme, ’20-20 Vigilance’. The sooner we see signs of increased threat, the sooner we can take effective action.
A new book is set to inspire and empower New Zealand kids to be naturalists and conservationists – including being pest detectives.
Author Gillian Chandler wrote New Zealand Nature Heroes to encourage children to become citizen scientists, actively engaged with their local environment.
The book emphasises the importance of observation in nature conservation and suggests varied activities that children can undertake for themselves.
Detecting pest animals is one such activity. There are simple instructions on how to make tracking tunnels and chew cards, with a link to our Pest Detective website for help on identifying the animal signs observed.