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…

On the value of ecology

I often find that I have to comment on the value of ecology. One gets the sense when talking to some people that they wonder why we need to bother with ecology. Surely there are more pressing issues and more immediate uses of limited funds? This has been particularly true…

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 pythonesque way of finding rare animals

The first thing he found was a Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake curled round a rock. “‘Scuse me,” said the Elephant’s Child most politely, “but have you seen such a thing as a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?”“Have I seen a Crocodile?” said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, in a voice of dretful scorn. “What will you…

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,…

Cat-ch 22! Cats are bad for the environment (except when they aren’t)

One of my former student’s thesis completed in 2002 is now available digitally from the Lincoln University library. Shelly Morgan completed her research on cats in a semi-urban environment over a decade ago (the work is titled Movements and hunting activity of house cats (Felis catus) living around Travis Wetland,…

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…

Communities and African conservation: a chance or a challenge?

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Shakhzoda Alikhanova as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Shakhzoda revisits a Lincoln University research area that looks at community based wildlife management in Africa published in 1999. “Indigenous knowledge is an integral part of the culture and…