Predafiles: how to solve the problem of pest mammals in NZ

Pest mammal control, in particular the use of 1080, has long been a hot topic in New Zealand. Feratox owner, Jeremy Kerr did an excellent job of reigniting the 1080 debate last year when he threatened to contaminate baby powder with the toxin. The media storm that followed highlighted the polarising nature…

1080: delusion and confusion

In which we see the value of rational thinking. We all behave irrationally at times. I like to think that I am rational about most things but I do have an irrational dislike of rugby league. I am passionate about rugby union but the similar code leaves me very cold….

A lousy chat about the Chathams

As a lecturer you spend a lot of time talking to people. With a bit of practice most lecturers can easily fill 50 minutes with facts, figures and opinions. I enjoy talking to students (and enjoy it more when they talk back!). One thing that is a little novel is…

Getting out and about, it depends on how dense you are

In which we look at how possum home range is influenced by density. I have just been home for lunch and found an infestation of 16 year old boys at my house. Most had just completed their last school exam for the year and come to see my son and…

A pied-piper for possums?

“Hello? Anyone there?” One of the issues with running a blog, such as EcoLincNZ, is in attracting an audience. It’s a big online world out there with plenty to read. Finding and attracting readers is a major headache. We use several strategies. There is a link from our departmental site,…

Danger UXB! What happens to poison in pest carcasses?

Lincoln University has a special link to the German University of Goettingen. We run a joint Master of International Nature Conservation. Students who enrol in this degree spend a semester at each university doing papers. So each year we have about 15, mainly European, post grad students in our classes…

Don’t feel off-colour! Stopping kea eating poison baits

One of the difficulties of living with teenage boys (of which I have three) is that it is impossible to keep food for any length of time. Well that’s not true exactly; food that grew on a tree or in the ground can last a very long time. Other foods…

Let’s Save our Forests, Native Species and Agricultural Industry… Nah, Let’s Argue Instead

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Thomas Agnew as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Thomas revisits a Lincoln University research area on the use of toxins for possum control published since the early 1990s. Signs of protest against DOC controlled 1080 drops The…

Four more years! A link to the species in EcoLincNZ

Yellow-eyed Penguin EcoLincNZ has turned four. It just seems like yesterday that we discussed the use of blogs in our weekly ecology and evolution discussion group and decided that we should give it a go. It’s been 130 posts since the first one on the different meanings of ‘Gondwanan’ and…

Just browsing thanks

At my house we have our own pest mammal species – teenage boys. Packs of them occasionally descend on our home and browse their way through the pantry. If we were to forbid them from our home would this be beneficial to our food stocks? Or would our resident teenagers…