Funding boosts new inventions for Predator Free 2050

Published: 21 November, 2019 · Updated: 1 December, 2020

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Innovation and technology are behind five new tools which will soon be used save native wildlife by removing predators, developed through support from Predator Free 2050 Limited.

A small group of people gathered around a stall at the Predator Free 2050 launch

Guests interact with a new predator control tool funded through the PGF's investment in Predator Free 2050.

Predator Free 2050 Limited has announced $3.5m to enable five companies to produce innovative lures, traps and toxin delivery devices, after a total of $19.5 million was allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund. 

"We are excited to be working with some very clever Kiwi designers and entrepreneurs who are keen to contribute to the Predator Free 2050 mission," said Predator Free 2050 Limited Chief Executive Ed Chignell. 

The new tools will be designed, assembled and trialled in regional centres and used in large predator control projects funded by Predator Free 2050 Limited, expand the range of options available for conservation managers and community groups around the country, and have the potential to reach global markets. 

The five new tools being funded through Predator Free 2050 Limited are: 

  • A Spitfire toxin delivery device is being re-designed from a prototype by Environment and Conservation Technology (ECT) in Tauranga. The device has sensor pads and sprays a small dose of liquid toxin onto a possum or stoat’s abdomen which is licked off in grooming. 
  • The Hammerforce trap will incorporate a patented air valve system already used on New Zealand-designed nail guns into trap architectures, with assembly and distribution planned for Whangarei. 
  • NZ AutoTraps is perfecting a battery-powered mechanical system which resets and rebaits a possum and rat trap 100 times and is currently setting up new production facilities in Whakatane. 
  • Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) is developing and field testing an automated lure dispenser, innovative rat and stoat trap, electronic transmitter, LoRa-Iridium satellite box and webserver suited to detecting and responding to predator reinvasions in remote locations like the West Coast.
  • Boffa Miskell Ltd is developing new scent treatments to make cost-effective biodegradable plastic polymer blocks highly attractive to pest species over long timeframes, to be manufactured and distributed in Rotorua.