Archives For pests

One of the world’s most invasive pests, the Argentine Ant, has a foothold on Great Mercury Island. We’re working together with the island’s owners, councils, volunteers and conservation dogs to eradicate them but face a difficult battle.

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Get your family to help rid New Zealand of the introduced predators that threaten our nation’s natural taonga — and claim a Kiwi Guardians Pest Detective medal.

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Following three years of planning, the Million Dollar Mouse team is getting ready to depart for Antipodes Island this week where they will carry out major pest control operations over winter.

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No great white butterfly detections for more than 14 months in Nelson Tasman is a promising sign, but the search for this pest continues.

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Research from scientists John Marris and James Russell has confirmed the devastating impact mice have had on the unique invertebrate species on the Antipodes Island.

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By Wendy Sullivan, Partnerships Ranger

Combine a festival of music, local food and beverages, with a pest eradication theme and you get the Picton Pestival! Over 600 Picton locals and visitors enjoyed the event, celebrating Kaipupu Point Sanctuary’s first year anniversary of being open to the public.

Face to face with a tuatara at the Pestival.

Meeting a tuatara

The popular conservation zone drew crowds, with delighted children and adults having the chance to touch the tuatara and get up close with a falcon from the Marlborough Falcon Trust.

Kaipupu Point Sanctuary.

A rat being held by a boy in a deer costume.

A rat!

I attended, along with other DOC staff and a host of different community groups. We were on hand to give out information on pests, pest control and native flora and fauna.

There was an interesting line-up of speakers, discussing the current Battle for our Birds campaign and the innovative local Putanui Point pest control trial.

DOC’s Roy Grose took out Pest Contest and caught a whopping 11 different pest species, unfortunately highlighting how many pests there are in Marlborough area.

Organising an event such as this is not without its challenges or expenses, but kudos goes towards the small committee of volunteers who kept people entertained, watered and fed throughout the day.

The Pestival is growing into a much anticipated Marlborough event.

Kapahaka entertainment at the Pestival.

By Trudi Ngawhare, Partnerships Ranger, Gisborne

Tiki the conservation dog.

Tiki the conservation dog

Recently, we lost a “totara” for conservation.

Tiki the conservation dog passed away at the prime age of 11 (human) years.

Tiki was based at Motu, in the Gisborne region, with Ranger Joe Waikari and whānau.

He was a small Border Terrier cross who specialised in detecting mustelids (weasels, stoats and ferrets).

Ranger Joe Waikari describes Tiki as an “energizer battery, he never went flat”.

More travelled than most humans, Tiki’s work would take him (and Joe) all over the country: island work; in the back country… anywhere where extensive pest control programmes were in place, to ensure mustelid populations were gone from the area.

Tiki the conservation dog on a DOC boat.

Tiki heading to Mokoia Island, Rotorua

Tiki, was part of the Conservation Dog Programme. These detection dogs are trained to locate specific target species—either protected or predator. This helps the handler to capture and monitor protected species, or eradicate the pest species through trapping, poisoning or shooting.

Joe says the highlight in working with Tiki has been “doing our part in protecting our endangered species”.

Tiki was also a public relations specialist, winning over the crowds with his unassuming charm. He attended A&P shows and school talks, and he was a great advocate for conservation efforts with many children declaring that they wanted to go home to teach their dogs to be like Tiki.

Joe and Tiki doing training.

Joe and Tiki entertaining a crowd

Also a valued whānau member, Tiki was the champion in the small dogs category at the Matawai School Pet Day a couple of years running.

Tiki is a tribute to all conservation dogs that quietly go about their work (for cuddles and food), making huge gains for conservation.

He whakamaumahara ki a ‘Tiki’, he kuri o te papa atawhai. Moe mai e hoa, moe mai. A tribute to Tiki, the conservation dog. Rest easy friend, rest easy.

Watch this video tribute to Tiki but be careful of ‘dust getting in your eyes’: