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Pūtaiao - Manaaki Whenua science summary

Tēnā koe and welcome to Putaiao (‘Science’ in te reo Māori), our quarterly publication showcasing the work of our scientists at Manaaki Whenua. In this issue many of the stories focus on science for our biosecurity – one of Manaaki Whenua’s four science ambitions for Aotearoa New Zealand: that our land is protected from invasive biological threats.
Download Pūtaio Issue 4. November 2020

Pūtaio Issue 4. November 2020

We offer wide-ranging research capability in all aspects of biosecurity and predator control science, from fundamental genomics and taxonomy to biocontrol, pest trapping and animal behaviour manipulation, plant disease resistance, and early detection of border biosecurity risks. We collaborate with many partners to help New Zealand reach its biosecurity and predator-free goals. We also draw on the experience of our social scientists in building a ‘social licence to operate’ – a key ingredient of successful applied research.

 This issue begins with some of our most recent work in vertebrate predator control. New Zealand has 30 years to achieve its target of being predator-free by 2050, and we still have critical science questions to solve:

  • How do we target the most recalcitrant predators?
  • How do we better understand the interactions between predators and native birds?
  • When is best to control predators?
  • Where and how do traps get the best results?
  • Will predator genomics allow the development of targeted control options – and if so, will New Zealanders be supportive of such methods?
  • How do we develop more humane, environmentally appropriate and selective predator toxins to reduce reliance on 1080?

Our progress towards answering these questions is outlined in the stories below.

If you wish to be included on the mailing list for Pūtaiao, or to find out more about any of the stories, contact Manaaki Whenua’s Communications Manager

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