‘Pivotal step’ towards predator-free future

Five new innovative products to help eliminate predators have been unveiled at Zealandia this morning.

The new trapping technologies have been developed for Predator Free 2050 Limited with funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.

In February, a total $19.5 million investment from the PGF was announced to help expand predator control in regional New Zealand and find products which reduce the need for repeated 1080 use.

The products include:

The Spit Fire Trap - a liquid toxin delivery device designed for possums and stoats able to be left in the field for a year

The Hammerforce Trap - an air-powered multi-species trap which is self-resetting and allows for multiple kills per gas refill

The AT220 Auto Rebait Reset Trap - a rat and possum trap which mechanically resets 100 times and can be left unattended for up to 12 months.

The Remove and Protect System - a precision rat and stoat trap, automated lure dispenser, electronic transmitter and satellite box to remotely monitor and respond to predator reinvasions in remote areas

Long-life lures made of biodegradable plastic blocks which can remain attractive to predators for months.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says these products expanded the range of options for conservation management, landholders, farmers and community organisations.

"Once development and production are complete, these products will be tested in the large landscape-scale projects being funded by Predator Free 2050 Limited in Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, Otago and other regions.

"Nature is the basis of regional economies and local identity, and I look forward to seeing the impact these new products have on enabling native wildlife to flourish," she says.

Regional Economic Development Minister Fletcher Tabuteau says the products were "a pivotal step" towards a predator-free future.

"Driven by innovative and creative Kiwis that now have the funding they need to bring their products to market in regions around the country.

"Many of our regions are home to incredible natural taonga. Investment from the PGF is about taking a new approach to protecting these assets to bring tens of thousands of hectares of rural and forested land under effective predator control," he says.

Fletcher says it was also a win for New Zealand First, which was committed to reducing the use and reliance on 1080 for pest control.

Predator Free 2050 Limited received 63 applications for new product developments and further design ideas are being assessed for funding.


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