High-tech pest management solutions
This research team is helping to develop targeted, next-generation, socially acceptable and cost-effective new technologies to achieve landscape-scale freedom from rats, stoats and possums.
The ability to cost-effectively keep these pests that threaten our biodiversity at zero density will be transformational for New Zealand conservation. This BioHeritage Challenge project, led by Dr James Russell of the University of Auckland, supports the scaling up of current efforts to eradicate pests by accelerating the provision of improved tools, methodologies and strategies for mammal pest control.
In line with the Challenge’s strategic goal to partner with relevant international groups in high-impact areas, project partner Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research has signed up with international consortium GBIRd (Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents), assisted by extra funding from the Challenge.
There is also a formal national collaboration between this project, Predator Free 2050 and Genomics Aotearoa, with a research focus on the population genomics of New Zealand rats and science strategy for a Predator Free New Zealand.
These collaborations are helping the project team to complete a comprehensive report on the status of new pest control tools that are close to market in New Zealand. The report will facilitate stakeholder engagement, encourage early adoption and leverage private sector investment.
A bioethics panel is being facilitated as part of the project, with the cross-section of representatives working on an independent report on the social, cultural and ethical issues relating to a predator free New Zealand. The report will incorporate Māori perspectives towards modern pest control initiatives.
The project contributes to the BioHeritage Challenge’s goal of mitigating threats posed by weeds, pests, plant pathogens and other drivers of global environmental change.
BioHeritage’s role is to break down barriers between organisations and individual scientists by coordinating and focusing the research of top scientists from our 18 Challenge Parties. This project is being driven by Challenge Party the University of Auckland.
Garvey, P. M., A. S. Glen, M. N. Clout, S. V. Wyse, M. Nichols, and R. P. Pech. 2017. Exploiting interspecific olfactory communication to monitor predators, Ecological Applications, 27: 389-402. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.1483
Gemmell, N. J., and D. M. Tompkins. 2017. Gene drives and rodent control: response to Piaggio et al, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32: 314-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.03.005
Glen, A. S., M. C. Latham, D. Anderson, C. Leckie, R. Niemiec, R. P. Pech, and A. E. Byrom. 2017. Landholder participation in regional-scale control of invasive predators: an adaptable landscape model, Biological Invasions, 19: 329-38. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-016-1282-3
Kopf, R. K., D. G. Nimmo, P. Humphries, L. J. Baumgartner, M. Bode, N. R. Bond, A. E. Byrom, J. Cucherousset, R. P. Keller, A. J. King, H. M. McGinness, P. B. Moyle, and J. D. Olden. 2017. Confronting the risks of large-scale invasive species control, Nature Ecology & Amp; Evolution, 1: 0172. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0172
Latham, A. D. M., B. Warburton, A. E. Byrom, and R. P. Pech. 2017. The ecology and management of mammal invasions in forests, Biological Invasions, 19: 3121-39. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-017-1421-5
Parkes, J. P., A. E. Byrom, and K. A. Edge. 2017. Eradicating mammals on New Zealand island reserves: what is left to do? New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 41: 263-70. https://doi.org/10.20417/nzjecol.41.25
Parkes, J. P., G. Nugent, D. M. Forsyth, A. E. Byrom, R. P. Pech, B. Warburton, and D. Choquenot. 2017. Past, present and two potential futures for managing New Zealand’s mammalian pests, New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 41: 151-61. https://doi.org/10.20417/nzjecol.41.1
Rouco, C., R. De Torre-Ceijas, D. Martin-Collado, and A. E. Byrom. 2017. New Zealand shouldn't ignore feral cats, Bioscience, 67: 685-85. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix068
Russell, J. C., and T. M. Blackburn. 2017. Invasive alien species: denialism, disagreement, definitions, and dialogue, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32: 312-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.02.005
Russell, J. C., and M.C. Stanley. 2018. An overview of introduced predator management in inhabited landscapes. Pacific Conservation Biology. , -. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PC18013
Parke EC, Russell, JC. Ethical responsibilities in invasion biology. 2018 The Ecological Citizen 2(1): epub-013. http://www.ecologicalcitizen.net/article.php?t=ethical-responsibilities-invasion-biology
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5 July 2018 - Whats new
Congratulations to BioHeritage Project Leader James Russell who has received a Society for Conservation Biology Oceania section distinguished…
26 October 2017 - Whats new
Kim Hill is joined by bioethicist Josephine Johnston, Dr Andrea Byrom, Kevin Hackwell, and Jan Hania as they…
22 September 2017 - Whats new
How do we address the ethical questions raised by the new technologies being explored to achieve the aim…
19 September 2017 - Whats new
We know that New Zealand's new target of wiping out pest predators by 2050 will demand more money,…
10 July 2017 - Whats new
April Reese, July 10 2017. Experts say achieving PFNZ will require new technologies—such as deadlier toxins and possibly…
11 January 2017 - Whats new
Science reporter Jamie Morton talks to Auckland University conservation ecologist Dr James Russell about the ongoing battle to…
1 December 2016 - Whats new
Great to see Predator Free 2050 board announced! Looking forward to providing research strategy to make it happen.…
29 July 2016 - Whats new
Alison Ballance, Our Changing World, Thursday 28 July 2016. The Government’s has announced ambitous plans to make New…
25 July 2016 - Whats new
“The significant new investment in pest eradication, announced at Zealandia in Wellington today by Prime Minister John Key,…
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