Tech is key on Waiheke

December 6, 2021 2:01 pm

Waiheke Island is home to Te Korowai o Waiheke Trust, which was established by the community to eradicate stoats and rats from the island. With the stoat mahi well underway, the Trust is now preparing for a rat eradication pilot that will run from May to August 2022. Three-quarters of the 1633 permissions needed from landowners and businesses in the area to host eradication tools on their property have already been gained.

The key to any eradication plan is the involvement of not only the community and landowners, but also ensuring everyone in the field is given the tools needed to complete the task. This is where Te Korowai o Waiheke has shown innovation and leadership, working smarter not harder by tailoring the ArcGIS suite created by US company Esri, to meet the needs of the project and reach their goals faster.

Field Team Technician, Bonnie Harris checking a trap in Palm Beach

Originally, Scott Sambell of Ethos Environmental and Te Korowai o Waiheke’s former Field manager Paul Kviecinskas worked on adapting the tech for stoat trap deployment and servicing. The product suite, which includes online dashboards is now used by the team as a state-of-the-art mobile phone app that includes impressive GIS Capability. With continual product adaptation being completed by Brett Clews, the GIS technician at Te Korowai o Waiheke, the phone app now allows the team to enter all data from trap activity, so that everyone can see what’s happening with traps at any point in time, and then feed the information directly back to the Esri ArcGIS online data repositories.

This flexible platform with its excellent data security and cloud computing aspect is a real game-changer for any project when it comes to trying to get the last predator. Used for everything from stoat permissions, trap data analysis to bird counts and hazard identification Te Korowai o Waiheke have already started to share their findings and adaptations with a number of predator free projects including a project as far away as the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

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