High-Tech Solutions To Invasive Mammal Pests

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 inventory of research outputs and resources can be found here:

High-Tech Solutions to Invasive Mammal Pests

This research is Completed
Associate Professor James Russell

Overview Te Tirohanga Whānui

The ability to cost-effectively keep these pests that threaten our biodiversity at zero density will be transformational for Aotearoa New Zealand conservation. This BioHeritage Challenge project, led by Professor 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.

There is 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.

The project contributes to the BioHeritage Challenge’s goal of creating a world-class biosecurity system for Aotearoa.

Highlights Ngā Mahi Whakahirahira

  • Read this project’s Predator Free New Zealand Bioethics Report, released May 2019.
  • 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.
  • Articles about this research have been published in high-impact publications such as TREE and PLOS Biology (see below).
  • The project also featured in the Netflix docuseries Unnatural Selection (E3 Changing an Entire Species).

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for any outputs (papers, data etc) from this project that you don’t see on this page please visit our data repository.

Team Members Ngā kaimahi

  • James Russell; University of Auckland

Resource outputs from this programme

Publication

Niche partitioning in a guild of invasive mammalian predators

Predators compete aggressively for resources, establishing trophic hierarchies that influence ecosystem structure. Competitive interactions are particularly important in invaded ecosystems where introduced predators can suppress…
View Publication
Publication

The tails of two invasive species: genetic responses to acute and chronic bottlenecks

Genetic diversity can affect population viability and can be reduced by both acute and chronic mechanisms. Using the history of the establishment and management of…
View Publication
Publication

Selection and characterization of DNA aptamers for the rat major urinary protein 13 (MUP13) as selective biorecognition elements for sensitive detection of rat pests

Among invasive mammalian predators, rats represent a major threat, endangering ecosystem functioning worldwide. After rat-control operations, detecting their continued presence or reinvasion requires more sensitive…
View Publication
Publication

Modeling CRISPR gene drives for suppression of invasive rodents using a supervised machine learning framework

Invasive rodent populations pose a threat to biodiversity across the globe. When confronted with these invaders, native species that evolved independently are often defenseless. CRISPR…
View Publication
Publication

The clock is ticking: Temporally prioritizing eradications on islands

Achieving conservation objectives is time critical, but the vast number of threats and potential actions means some form of ranking is necessary to aid prioritization.…
View Publication
Publication

Leveraging Motivations, Personality, and Sensory Cues for Vertebrate Pest Management

Managing vertebrate pests is a global conservation challenge given their undesirable socio-ecological impacts. Pest management often focuses on the ‘average’ individual, neglecting individual-level behavioural variation…
View Publication
Publication

Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge.

The papers in this volume were, with a few exceptions, presented at the third Island Invasives conference, held in Dundee, Scotland in July 2017.  The…
View Publication
Publication

Conserving New Zealand’s native fauna: a review of tools being developed for the Predator Free 2050 programme

The endemic fauna of New Zealand evolved in the absence of mammalian predators and the introduction of the latter has been devastating. There have been…
View Publication
Publication

Phylogeography of Invasive Rats in New Zealand

Two species of invasive rats (Rattus norvegicus and R. rattus) arrived in New Zealand with Europeans in the mid to late eighteenth and nineteenth century…
View Publication
Publication

mtDNA polymorphism and metabolic inhibition affect sperm performance in conplastic mice

Although there is a general correlation between nucleotide substitutions in the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) and a variety of metabolic pathologies, research into the impact of…
View Publication
Publication

Conservation demands safe gene drive

Interest in developing gene drive systems to control invasive species is growing, with New Zealand reportedly considering the nascent technology as a way to locally…
View Publication
Publication

Ethical responsibilities in invasion biology

There is a classic problem in ethics of reconciling the moral standing of collectives (e.g. populations, species and ecosystems) with the moral standing of individuals. We…
View Publication
Publication

An overview of introduced predator management in inhabited landscapes.

We describe the rise of community predator control and large landscape projects aspiring for a ‘Predator Free New Zealand’, and how such an aspiration must…
View Publication
Publication

Invasive alien species: denialism, disagreement, definitions, and dialogue

We recently suggested in TREE that recent elements of invasion biology discourse might be categorised as cases of more general science denialism. We did not intend…
View Publication
Publication

The rise of invasive species denialism

Scientific consensus on the negative impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) is increasingly being challenged. Whereas informed scepticism of impacts is important, science denialism is…
View Publication
Publication

New Zealand shouldn’t ignore feral cats

A letter to BioScience: A publication in Nature (Owens 2017) attracted our attention recently. The article refers to the ambitious, arduous, and encouraging plan to…
View Publication

Have you found this research useful? Please help the cause by sharing

Scroll to Top