Pest Detective is an online tool to help people in New Zealand identify the presence of vertebrate pest animals.
Pest animals are often nocturnal and hard to spot. They leave tell-tale clues that tell us they are in the area.
What do we mean by 'pest animal?'
The animals featured in Pest Detective have all been introduced to New Zealand either by accident or intentionally. They are regarded as pests because they threaten the health of our native ecosystems and/or primary production sector, though special management is required where people value a species for such things as hunting, agriculture or as pets > read more
Looking for Other kinds of Pests?
If you are looking for information about pest fish or non-vertebrate pests, like insects or weeds, we can refer you on to other websites you might find helpful. > r
Weasel tracks can be difficult to distinguish from those of stoats. They look similar and track size can overlap between adult weasels and juveline stoats. Therefore, other evidence as well as footprints is usually needed to confirm weasel identification > more about weasels
Using Pest Detective in Field
Pest Detective can be used on mobile devices – no special app is required.
It is not available offline although this is something we would investigate if there is enough demand. If you are out of internet range you can save content in PDF form to your mobile device or, of course, print onto paper > read more
It's red deer breeding season or 'roar'. Red deer are the most widespread of the seven deer species featured in our culprits section. At this time (late March to May), the stags roar and wallow more frequently - behaviour associated with establishing territories and gathering harems of females. > more about red deer.
Junior Pest Detectives
Bones are a good way of telling what kinds of animals live in an area. These are the skull and jaw bones of an animal that ate plants and meat. It had a long snout and different kinds of teeth for biting, tearing and grinding food. It also had tusks on its bottom jaw. Can you guess the animal? > answer
Latest from 'On the case' pest detection news
31 January 2019
This close-up of possum fur is one of several new 'body covering' photos in the 'other clues' group on our Clues page, where clues such as an animal's smell, its sound, bite marks, characteristic eye shine and geographic distribution are also featured.
Body covering includes fur, feathers and, in the case of the plague skink, the scales that cover reptilian skin. These can be helpful identifiers, whether sighting the actual animal or finding traces of fur or feathers left behind.