15 Aug 2015

Digital pest sensing network

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 15 August 2015

From dairy to meat to fruit, New Zealand's economy is heavily reliant on agriculture so the introduction of an invasive pest or disease can be devastating.

Recent sightings of the Queensland Fruit Fly in Auckland show how sensitive we are to biosecurity risks. Pests also cause havoc with our native flora and fauna with many species now under threat.

Now a new hi-tech system called PAWS (print acquisition and wildlife surveillance) monitors pests remotely and can even alert border protection agencies to threats in real time.

Ecologist Dr Helen Blackie of Boffa Miskell and Kenji Irie from Lincoln Agritech showed us the technology at the Centre for Wildlife Management and Conservation at Lincoln.

Nose cone

PAWS © Helen Blackie, Lincoln University Lincoln Agritech Ltd. Photo: Supplied.