31 Aug 2011

New centre for pest management research

5:16 am on 31 August 2011

A new Centre for Wildlife Management & Conservation, based at Lincoln University, will lead the development of the next generation of pest control technologies.

The centre, which was opened on Tuesday, will allow scientists from Lincoln to collaborate with other universities, research institutions and commercial operators come up with new ways to target predator species such as possums and rats.

Associate director Helen Blackie believes it will revolutionise pest management because it brings together a range of disciplines, including design engineers, toxicologists, animal ecologists and wildlife biologists.

She says a commercial partner will ensure the results of research result in products for use in the environment.

New pest control poison launched

The first new pest control poison to be registered in 30 years was launched at the opening of the centre.

PAPP was developed to kill stoats, which are the greatest threat to kiwi populations.

Dr Blackie says other new technologies being developed to target predators such as possums and rats include traps and bait stations that reset themselves, humane poisons, the contained delivery of toxins, species-specific toxins and bait stations that can be left out for several years without the need for re-servicing.

She says these would be ideal for island sanctuaries to guarantee against re-invasion and they could be equipped with smart technology such as remote download.

She says these development would represent a "giant leap forward" for conservation in New Zealand.