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This tech will save Queenstown and Wānaka wildlife

Xero Founder Rob Drury has invested $50,000 in technology that will assist in efforts to save native wildlife in the Queenstown and Wānaka region.

Drury is supporting the Southern Lakes Sanctuary – a trust that oversees and supports native wildlife in the region – who are investing in ground-breaking pest-control technology, TrapNodes, developed by FTP Solutions.

TrapNodes uses mechanisms that are mounted to self-resetting predator traps (AT220) and takes advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and communications systems to alert the Southern Lakes Sanctuary of any nearby predators.

FTP Solutions have developed this tech to detect target and non-target species as well as collect live data, such as when traps have been activated will send emails and texts to the Southern Lakes Sanctuary.

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“This advanced technology enables us to protect more of our native taonga, our wildlife,” says Southern Lakes Sanctuary project director Paul Kavanagh.  

“The TrapNodes make the pest-control process much more efficient, as we are relying less on human resources and manual labour. Traditional traps require a person to go and reset and maintain each trap, which is costly in both time and resources.”

Southern Lakes Sanctuary have used AT220 traps – minus the TrapNodes technology – in the Arrowtown region, where they have removed 1072 pests in a year, and with Drury’s investment, this work will expand even further.

Having the TrapNodes fitted into the AT220 traps will make them more efficient in removing pests such as possums and rats.

Southern Lakes Sanctuary is the first conservation group in New Zealand to use predator-control technology by FTP Solutions.

“It is fantastic to see the AT220 traps and TrapNodes generating some great results for Southern Lakes Sanctuary,” says FTP Solutions Agriculture Manager, Jonathan Clark.

“We completed some of the early research and development of this technology in Wānaka, inside the Southern Lakes Sanctuary’s project area. Our approach was to increase productivity, and by leveraging this technology, predator-free projects gain the ability to take a unit of labour and deliver 10 or 100 times more work. It’s a game changer for predator control and conservation in NZ.”

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