Research - May Update
Maanaki Whenua Landcare Research and the University of Otago have been working with PFD to build a long-term research programme which will support operations on the ground. The current research underway includes:
Modelling reinvasion pathways of possums on to the Otago Peninsula (from the Urban Linkage) and estimating possum density in an urban forest fragment (Jubilee Park) and two residential areas. These two pieces of research will help the OPBG operations to understand better where possums are likely to reinvade the Otago Peninsula, after the vacuum effect that is created by successful Peninsula operations. Likewise, the data that arises from this research will help the Urban Linkage project to plan activities with better knowledge of possum densities in urban areas.
The development of a camera trap methodology for the Halo Project, to enable the creation of a baseline of predator populations. Knowing where predators occur in the landscape, and how many there are, will allow a more cost-effective approach to predator control. When implemented, the cameras will provide distribution data and a baseline index of occupancy of the landscape by stoats, to detect future reductions of stoats. Lastly, MWLR is applying the model TrapSim to help design a trapping network for Flagstaff and test its effectiveness to achieve control objectives.