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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
This year, we will be adding eleven more pest species to our line-up of culprits, thanks to the generous support of the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.
Dama and Bennett's wallabies will be amongst the newly featured species. They currently occur in areas of Otago, Canterbury, Bay of Plenty and Waikato, and their distribution and impacts are being assessed pending a decision in September 2016 on their 'unwanted organism' status in New Zealand.