5 December 2014

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NPCA was pleased to launch the Pest Detective website at a function on 25 November attended by representatives from a range of organisations involved in the animal pest control sector.

Pest Detective has been three years in the making, including preliminary feasibility scoping, funding and completing stage 1 of likely ongoing development. It has been one of NPCA”s more complex projects, involving a team of consultants compiling information and sourcing illustrations on the 19 species featured so far, as well as developing the website as a custom-designed search tool. Initially, a printed field guide was envisaged but it became apparent that a website would be more easily updated and expanded as resources allow.

“The Pest Detective project has attracted enormous enthusiasm and energy from all who have contributed,” says NPCA National Co-ordinator, Maurice Kennedy. “It has filled a gap by bringing together, in one place, easily accessible pest animal sign information for New Zealanders. Importantly, it can be used in the field on mobile devices wherever there is network coverage.”

The project could not have happened without the support of Pest Detective’s sponsors and project partners, which include the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board, OSPRI New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, Local Government, and Ministry for Primary Industries.

OSPRI New Zealand Chief Executive, William McCook, said OSPRI is keen to be supporting the project and collaborating with NPCA as part of its TB-free programme, which has recently expanded its focus beyond pure possum control to wider biodiversity outcomes.

Allan Ross, Manager, Ecosystems and Species, Department of Conservation (DOC) congratulated NPCA on developing a “very practical tool” that was highly appropriate to DOC’s future direction.
“DOC is fostering partnership and community collaboration and looking for ways to lift our effectiveness and efficiency. NPCA is very good at pulling together science and operational requirements.”

pestdetec launch

At the launch (left to right): Maurice Kennedy, NPCA National Co-ordinator; Sarah Meakin and Samantha Garcia, website developers from Signify; Shona McCahon, project manager; Astrid van Meeuwen-Dijkgraaf, project writer from Wildlands Consultants; Bruce Warbuton, NPCA Management Committee and Landcare Research; William McCook, CEO, OSPRI; and Allan Ross, Manager, Ecosystems and Species,DOC. Photo by: Earp-Jones Originals Ltd

Maurice Kennedy acknowledged the enthusiasm of the project team, comprising Shona McCahon (project management); Signify Ltd (website development); Wildlands Consultants (content writing and image selection); Station Creative (branding and graphic design); Landcare Research (peer review) and What’s the Story (drawings). Some team members also contributed to the project through sponsorship.

Further website development, such as adding more species and illustrations, will occur as resources allow. In the meantime, feedback and suggestions are invited.

> Pest Detective

Contact: Maurice Kennedy at NPCA.