Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Optimal Assault On NZ's Environmental Pests

Media Statement
2 May 2005

Research will enable optimal assault on New Zealand's environmental pests

Three research projects that seek to gain a broader understanding of the distribution of and interactions between pests that threaten New Zealand's endangered flora and fauna will receive investment of $2.5M p.a. from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

The successful project bids put forward by Landcare Research move radically away from looking at single pests, such as rats and stoats, in isolation. Instead, researchers seek to gain an ecosystem-level understanding of the consequences of pest control and develop models for predicting the number and type of pests in New Zealand's diverse ecosystems. This will allow better targeting of pest control by conservation managers.

The first project, called "Multiple pest dynamics", seeks to understand how different mammalian pests interact. For example, does reducing stoat numbers to protect birds simply allow a boom in rat numbers, which then go on to prey on birds?

The project will study interactions of possums, ship rats and stoats with large-scale pest removal in both mixed forest and dryland environments.

"Our research will identify when, where and what combination of pest species need to be controlled for greatest conservation benefit," says Landcare Research Science Manager, Biosecurity and Pest Management, Dr Phil Cowan. The second project will further optimise pest control efforts by developing cutting-edge modelling techniques.

Dr Cowan says a map of population density will be invaluable for pest control work but mapping population density is not a well-developed art, especially for difficult to see, mobile, nocturnal species such as rats, possums and stoats. "Producing spot estimates of local population density has challenged wildlife statisticians for nearly 70 years. We think we have a solution that we want to develop further."

In addition to population density, the research team will develop tools for obtaining critical data on pest movements, and show how these findings can be integrated with spatial information on vulnerable species to predict the optimum placement of pest control effort.

The third project, which is subject to final negotiation, focuses on weeds, recognising the significant and increasing threat they pose to New Zealand's natural and primary production ecosystems. "Beating weeds will use a combination of modelling and improved weed control methods to enable weed management to combat the serious environmental impacts of existing and new weed invaders," Dr Cowan says.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Onetai Station: Overseas Investment Office Puts Ceol & Muir On Notice

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has issued a formal warning to Ceol & Muir and its owners, Argentinian brothers Rafael and Federico Grozovsky, for failing to provide complete and accurate information when they applied to buy Onetai Station in 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Tomorrow, The UN: Feds President Takes Reins At World Farming Body

Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston has been appointed acting president of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) at a meeting in Geneva overnight. More>>

ALSO:

I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>

ALSO:

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news