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.
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!