First Funding Round

EZYLURE

Boffa Miskell Limited has developed, field testing and validated a low cost, open-source, automated system for dispensing lures to rodents, mustelids and possums.

EZYLure dispenses an egg-mayo mix at pre-determined times and is designed to last for up to a year, drastically reducing the labour costs involved in rebaiting.
The device will fit with both existing and new technologies. Now available for purchase from Critter Solutions Limited.




Flexi-comms

Red Fern Solutions of Christchurch is developing a remote data reporting and management system to process inputs from traps and monitoring devices and to transmit data to the cloud, using cutting-edge low-power wireless technology.

This ‘Flexi-comms’ system aims to be a market leader in capability to transmit images from remote cameras. More information on Flexi-comms is on the Critter Solutions website.

Estimated Availability:
– Flexi-comms CELL (for AI Smart traps and smart cameras) estimated release mid 2024
– Flexi-comms CELL TRAP (trap only version over cellular) estimated release is end of 2024
– Flexi-comms ANYWHERE (satellite direct to cell) estimated release is early to mid 2025.




Back country camera

Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) is developing a highly sensitive back country detection camera to detect and identify possums, rats and stoats — to help protect remote predator-free landscapes.

The device is based on a thermal camera, coupled with on-board Artificial Intelligence software and remote reporting functionality, to identify predators and provide real-time notification of detections.

Funding from Predator Free 2050 Limited, along with the NEXT Foundation, Department of Conservation and Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, will enable completion of the entire development cycle, from prototyping and field-testing through to supply.

Estimated Availability: Currently in operation at Predator Free South Westland with wider commercial sales under negotiation.




Norbormide formulation

The rat-selective toxicant Norbormide is being redeveloped by Auckland-based company Invasive Pest Control, University of Auckland and Boffa Miskell.

Norbormide is only toxic to rats and its lack of toxicity to birds and other mammals is unique. However, rats being averse to the taste has previously limited its effctiveness for rat control.

New chemical synthesis to limit impurities and improve the bait palatability has shown promising results with Norway and ship rats.

The funding enables researchers to fast-track research and development, registration, production and supply.

Estimated Availability: Paste bait for Norway and Ship rats is currently being reviewed for registration, with an estimated availability for early 2025. Field trials for solid bait (for Norway rats) have been successful and registration will be underway once paste bait registration is complete.




POAUKU

Boffa Miskell Limited have developed PoaUku which are long-life lures for rodents, possums and mustelids. These lures were developed by biosecurity experts to provide a cost-effective alternative to food-based baits that deteriorate quickly in the field.

The lure is created using a solid-state, biodegradable plastic polymer block which goes through a treatment process to make it highly attractive and longlasting. Different treatments will be developed and tested to create a lure as attractive as fresh bait which will last for months at a time, vastly reducing labour costs associated with replenishing baits.

PoaUku lures can be purchased here




The Spitfire

The Spitfire is a self-resetting, long life toxin delivery device, designed for efficient pest control in remote locations.

The Spitfire is being re-engineered by an environmental technology start-up, Envico Technologies in Tauranga.

The device uses an automatic lure dispenser to attract pests, then a sensor array to accurately detect the target pest and differentiate it from non-target species. The sensors detect the target pests’ unique characteristics, triggering a spray of liquid toxin onto its abdomen, which is later ingested during grooming.

Approved, humane, species-targeted lures and toxins are used with the devices. Envico is currently fast-tracking the possum Spitfire, while the stoat Spitfire development is paused, as more research on the toxin needs to be done.

The Spitfire is expected to be used long-term to help stop re-invasions following initial knock-down operations — and in remote areas requiring ground control tools.

Estimated Availability:
Mid-end 2024 (Possum Spitfire) depending on registration timing.
Stoat Spitfire (TBD).
Please see our Second Funding Round for details on the Rat Spitfire.




The Hammerforce Self-Resetting Trap

The Airbow trap, being developed by Hammerforce Limited, is intended as an airpowered, self-resetting, multi-species trap. It will use the same patented Hammerforce Technology® valve actuation system used in the new-to-market Airbow Framer nail gun and concrete gun.

The trap will be designed for quick, humane kills. Its compressed air system means there is no disposable canisters and it can be recharged in the field easily. The trigger technology will be trialed in different entrance architectures to avoid trap shyness.

Estimated Availability: Possum trap (mid 2024) and Rat trap (end of 2024)




The AT220 Auto Rebait Reset Trap

The AT220 Auto Rebait Reset Trap was invented by NZ Autotraps. The trap uses a mechanical drive, rechargeable battery and auto-lure dispenser to reset a possum and rat trap 100 times, so it can be left in the field for six months.

The funding was used to enable design improvements, purchase manufacturing equipment and move their operations to new premises in Whakatane. The funding allowed NZAT to build their capacity by hiring six assembly staff to meet demand. NZAT was also awarded additional funds through PF2050 Ltd’s second round of funding to make additional improvements, as the tool has been very successful in the field. Please read case studies on the NZAT website for more details on how successful the trap has been and to learn more about upcoming developments.

Now available for purchase on the NZ AutoTraps website.




The Remove and Protect Approach

The Remove and Protect approach, being developed by Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) aims to enable the complete removal of possums, rats and stoats from mainland New Zealand landscapes. The system includes an automated lure dispenser, innovative rat and stoat trap, electronic transmitter, LoRa-Iridium satellite box and webserver for handling data from remote trapping networks.

The funding enabled the production of these products and can be purchased on the ZIP website




Autorat 2.0

Goodnature is adapting its non-toxic, automatic resetting and humane trap technology to a new product optimised for ship rats and Norway rats in urban environments.

The company’s design team will explore breakthrough technical improvements, including: reducing the interaction to kill ratio; a second-generation automatic lure pump to dispense highly attractive lures for longer; second generation Chirp (IoT) technology for more accurate kill detection, geo-location and record of maintenance cycles; an improved Chirp App for viewing and sharing trapping data.

Estimated Availability: June 2025




Intelligent Trap Version 1

The Cacophony Project has developed a new type of high interaction rate trap designed for the last few, hard to catch predators that may remain in an area after a control operation.

The trap will be approachable from all directions with sensors triggering its closure. Deployed along with Cacophony’s thermal cameras, the trap will be able to recognise the animal, enabling release of non-target species.

Auto reset and auto kill functions as well as integration with AI and remote communications technologie are being funded under the second round of funding from PF2050 Ltd.

The product is available on their website.




Web-based image recognition service

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research is working to solve the problem of managing and interpreting the large amounts of image data generated by camera traps. Manual processing of images is expensive and time consuming.

The project uses large numbers of images of target species in New Zealand landscapes to train and refine the AI analysis, using software previously developed in Australia.

This will create a web-based image recognition service that is linked with camera trap data management and record keeping.

It is available to community groups on the Trap.NZ platform.