We reckon most nature-loving Kiwis could name the many pests we’re trying to get on top of in New Zealand – rats, stoats, weasels, ferrets and possums for starters – to help our native wildlife flourish again. And we’re stoked to know that so many Kiwis are doing their bit to make a difference. Setting traps in their backyards or maintaining traps on private or public land; every little bit counts.
But fewer Kiwis might know how our thinking and smart technology is helping countries in the UK, Europe and South America get on top of their pests.
While New Zealand has its fair share of pests, backyard trappers and conservation groups around the world are wrestling with a bunch that Kiwis don’t need to think about.
Over the last few years we’ve received a string of calls for help from conservation groups and authorities around the world including Hawaii (mongoose threaten their native birds), Scandinavia (mink threaten their seabirds) and England (grey squirrels threaten their trees and red squirrels). Since we’re always keen to find solutions that are safe, humane and provide constant control, we were totally up for the challenge.
Fortunately, mongoose, mink and grey squirrels are similar in size, proportion and behaviour. Tweaking our A24 trap for rats and stoats not only proved to be the most obvious and efficient answer.
We wanted to make sure that mongoose, grey squirrel and mink would be killed as instantly and humanely as any other pest our traps are designed to target. Since mongoose, grey squirrel and mink are bigger than rats and stoats, we added a more powerful striker. Then we got thinking about different lures to suit each pests’ preferred diet.
Mink and mongoose like eating fish but squirrels love nuts. Just as we’ve developed a chocolate lure to attract rats and stoats to our A24 trap, and a cinnamon lure to attract possums to our A12, our lure development team are able to create fish- or nut-based flavours for pests with more exotic tastes.
You won’t be surprised that we didn’t spend too much time thinking about the new trap’s name! Our A18 kills 18 mongoose, mink or grey squirrels before automatically resetting itself.
We’re excited to let you in on the latest international trial of the A18: a collaborative project set to protect black-browed albatross and King penguins from mink in Tierra del Fuego, the group of islands off the southernmost tip of South America.
Wildlife Conservation Society - Chile has developed many conservation projects to preserve its natural resources, and endangered and threatened wildlife. One great example is the black-browed albatross breeding colony on Albatross Islet (a small island) in the natural park it owns, Karukinka Park.
King Penguin Park is another private natural park located in Tierra del Fuego. Given that both areas face the same threat (mink), Wildlife Conservation Society - Chile and King Penguin Park have formed a strategic partnership.
Cristóbal Arredondo, Terrestrial conservation team researcher from Wildlife Conservation Society - Chile is excited about the collaboration.
“We both want to increase Chile’s biodiversity and reduce the impact people have on our environment, so it makes sense to trial the A18 traps together.”
He adds, “We decided to trial Goodnature’s A18s because mink is one of the biggest threats for both the black-browed albatross and King penguin’s breeding colony. Since the creation of King Penguin Park, the colony has gradually increased and succeeded in raising fledglings that migrate to the sea. As soon as the Goodnature trial proves successful, we will set more A18 traps to expand the protected areas.”
The trial has only just got started but we’re super keen to see what’s possible when conservation groups and smart technology get together. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with their progress.