Scavenger or killer?
2 November 2017
It's not easy to distinguish between original predator kill sign and scavenging.
Earlier this spring, Eliane Lagnaz sent us photos of just such an instance near Waipu in Northland. She had noticed a pair of paradise ducks, sounding vigorously, and spotted the entrance to their nest. Three weeks later, when she returned to the area, there was no sign of the birds but she saw a native swamp harrier fly up from the nest area. Eliane investigated and describes what she found.
Pest Detectives at Sylvia Park School
12 August 2017
We were delighted to recently receive twenty hand-written and beautifully illustrated letters from enthusiastic young pest detectives at Sylvia Park School.
The Year 2 pupils described how they had discovered that there were resident hedgehogs at the school and that hedgehogs are pests.
As part of an inquiry project investigating animals, they had made an animal tracker to see what pests they had at the school. They used peanut butter as a lure and red food colouring to record footprints from any animals that visited the tunnel.
Eleven more culprits featured
3 July 2017
We're marking Biosecurity Month 2017 with the addition of eleven more pest animal species to our list of culprits on Pest Detective.
Many thanks to the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board for enabling us to complete this extra content with the support of a generous grant, which also covered some technical work behind the scenes to improve aspects of the website's functionality.
Possum culprit detected
9 May 2017
Mystery footprints in the sand at Maukatia Bay (pictured) and identified via Pest Detective has prompted the Muriwai Environmental Action Community Trust to add extra targeted traps to its trapping lines.
The Trust, established to enhance the Muriwai environment, has two pest eradication projects; one to achieve a ‘pest-free’ Muriwai and the second to protect the habitat of grey-faced petrels (titi) and little blue penguins (korora) found in the four bays immediately south of Muriwai Beach's famous mainland gannet colony, where Auckland Council and volunteers control predators.
Pests in a library?
12 April 2017
Young pest detectives who visited Warkworth Library on Pest Quest day in January had fun tracking down clues and culprits.
The event was part of Auckland Libraries' summer 'Kia Maia Te Whai, Dare to Explore', reading programme. Children learnt about animal pests and how to keep native fauna safe via information, displays, a talk from Rebecca Kemp, biosecurity adviser at Auckland Council, and activities.
Interactive species distribution mapping
21 March 2017
Thanks to the Department of Conservation (DOC) for working with us to develop interactive mapping of introduced mammal distributions in New Zealand.
The new tool, which enables viewers to zoom in on particular geographic areas for more detail, so far includes mouse, kiore, ship rat, Norway rat, possum, hedgehog, feral cat, weasel, stoat and ferret. For these species the interactive maps on the DOC website are linked from thumbnail maps in our distribution clue section. For other species not yet converted to the interactive format, we will continue to use static PDF maps.
New teaching resource for junior pest detectives
31 January 2017
The Department of Conservation has released a new teaching and learning resource, ‘Investigating animal pests in your green space'.
It will assist primary school students (Years 1-6) learn how to:
- gather and interpret data about animal pests living in a local green space, such as school grounds or kids' own back yards;
- identify and learn about introduced pests and how they affect native plants and animals in New Zealand;