Supporting local and national projects, under its Conservation in Partnership initiative, is part of PelGar’s strategy to provide products and expertise to campaigns in the control of nuisance pests and vectors of disease.

New Zealand has been facing problems with rats, possums, feral cats and stoats killing millions of native birds and native species, such as lizards. Introduced pests have been threatening the economy and primary sector costing about $3.3billion. Not surprisingly the New Zealand Government is backing a plan to make the country, Predator Free by 2050.

Key to achieving this goal is for communities and organisations to work together in predator control trapping and monitoring.  One of these conservation projects is taking place on the west coast of New Zealand, at Punakaiki, well known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – a key breeding location for Westland petrels and great spotted kiwi. Predator Free Punakaiki is working local conservation groups and volunteers to create a native bird sanctuary.

An innovative ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) pest control solution, MinkPolice, has a track record of success in Europe and is now being utilised in the Punakaiki project.  Plastic bait stations, made in the UK and supplied by PelGar International, have traps that have been fitted with a SIM that connects via Vodafone’s IoT network to the MinkPolice smart-phone application. Volunteers receive a notification when a trap is activated giving details of the exact location of the trap so it can be cleared and reset and so trap more pests, more frequently.

The traps, with Vodafone’s global SIM, will be on the NB-IoT network which will help the volunteers set traps in more remote areas of the sanctuary and provide more reliable connectivity. As Grant Parrett, of Predator-Free Punakaiki explained, “the benefits of this system are fantastic for our volunteers. Rather than having to walk through the area to check traps they can now just target traps known to have been activated. This will speed up the process and help us in achieving our goal of a Predator Free Punakaiki and ensure the future of our native species.”

“This is a great example of a PelGar Conservation in Partnership (CiP) project. Our involvement is supplying the plastic bait boxes but the collaboration with Vodafone New Zealand and MinkPolice is a great innovation which has the potential for application in a wide range of pest control situations,” concludes Gerwyn Jones, PelGar’s Asia Pacific Business Manager.

UK manufactured bait stations supplied by PelGar International