In wonderful news for birdlife, NZ developed automatic rat traps have totally eliminated predator rat populations during large-scale Department of Conservation (DOC) trials in native New Zealand bush.
Results just in from large-scale DOC trial sites confirm that the patented automatic trap technology developed by local company Goodnature has successfully reduced rat populations to undetectable levels.
Recent monitoring at the two large scale trial sites by DOC field personnel confirmed zero percent (0%) rat monitoring rates indicating rat populations in these areas had been completely eliminated.
The unprecedented 0% rat detection results contrasted with monitoring results on the adjacent comparison sites which showed that rat populations outside the automatic trap trial area continued to thrive.
This is excellent news at a time when the predicted rat population explosion threatens native birdlife in New Zealand forests. Kiwi innovation has produced another potent weapon in the war on pests and, importantly, a further option in the armoury which is toxin free and cost effective to deploy.
“The DOC trial results are consistent with what our customers in other parts of the world are achieving with our traps” says Stu Barr, director of Goodnature who make and supply the A24 automatic resetting traps. “The traps are reducing rat populations well below the level where our vulnerable and endangered species can rebound. We’ve taken the pressure off the birds and put it back on the rats.”
While being used effectively in New Zealand for rat, stoat and possum control, farther afield, Goodnature is applying its technology to pests in more than 15 countries. As well as widespread success in rat control around the world, automatic resetting traps to control introduced mongoose in Hawaii and mink in Scandinavia are in development.
Powered by a small compressed CO2 canister the commercially successful Goodnature traps automatically reset themselves after striking a pest and can kill up to 24 rats before the canister needs to be replaced. The multiple-kill traps include an effective long-life rodent lure which attracts rats to the trap.
“The traps are mostly known for our automatic resetting and multi kill technology but, just like fishing, an irresistible bait is critical to get a catch. This latest trial result shows how effective our rodent lure is in the field” said Stu Barr.
Pest control tools which can wipe out predator populations and sustain them at low numbers are critical to ongoing pest control efforts on public conservation land and efforts by the wider conservation community. The sustained control of predators allows native bird species to successfully breed and increase their populations.
“These rat kill results are very promising. It is a significant step towards having a better and more effective trapping option for predator control in New Zealand.” DOC Deputy Director General Kevin O’Connor commented.
Research and development of automatic resetting traps was originally initiated by Goodnature with DOC in 2006 to strengthen New Zealand’s ability to control pests at times when existing ground based networks using traditional tools would get overwhelmed at times when predator numbers rise rapidly. . .
The traps won’t be able to be used everywhere but they look like a good option where they can be used.