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
Why are the Culprits not in alphabetical order?
The species on the culprits page are generally grouped with other species that have similar field sign. Grouping them together makes it easier to compare clues, especially the images in the Clues section. Each group of more closely related species (e.g. mustelids) are arranged by size from small to large. See more >
Rooting is the most common and evident sign that feral pigs are present. Pigs root for food by digging up the soil with their noses and can do an enormous amount of damage to the ground surface.
They are omniverous, so root for plant material, insects and invertebrates.
See more about feral pigs
How to access in the field?
Pest Detective can be used on mobile devices – no special app is required.
Where internet coverage is likely to be doubtful, you can download and save or print chosen pages from Pest Detective as PDFs to take with you > read how
Kiore were the first rat species in New Zealand, brought here around 1280 A.D. They spread and had a large impact on New Zealand's ecology. Kiore populations declined after European arrival. They are now found only in parts of Fiordland, Southland, South Westland and on several islands, including Stewart Island > more about kiore
Junior Pest Detectives
One of these birds is attacking the other. It is known for its fierce territorial behavour, which is one reason it is a pest in New Zealand.
Can you guess what it is?
Hint: it comes from Australia > Answer
Latest from 'On the case' pest detection news
25 September 2020
It’s breeding season for rooks, which means it is more likely you will see this unwanted organism. If you do, report your sightings to the local regional council but don’t go near the birds.
Rooks are intelligent and extremely wary of anything new or unusual. If they become suspicious, they will move to a new location, which can impede ongoing efforts to eradicate the species in New Zealand.