Vertebrate Pest Research Collective

Vertebrate Pest Research Collective



One of the greatest threats to Aotearoa New Zealand’s native flora and fauna is the impact of introduced pests such as stoats, ferrets, rats, mice, cats, possums, rabbits, hares, deer, goats, pigs, hedgehogs, and wallabies. These invasive animals compete for resources, impact on our economy, and destroy the habitat of our native ecosystems.                                                                       

There are numerous organisations involved in pest management in Aotearoa New Zealand, helping to protect and restore our indigenous biodiversity.

In June 2018, a report commissioned by the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, assessed the research topics that would most improve available tools for small mammal pest control.  The report built on a review of the gaps in current knowledge that was also commissioned by the National Science Challenge.  

One of the findings from that report was that collective communication and information sharing would improve Aotearoa New Zealand’s ability to control vertebrate pests.  This was the beginning of the Vertebrate Pest Research Collective.

About the Collective

The overall purpose of the Vertebrate Pest Research Collective is to improve coordination and communication, leading to better management of vertebrate pests.

The Collective agreed that information should be shared as widely as possible and that activities, such as research, planning, operational, etc, should be coordinated where possible to achieve the most effective results. It therefore acts as a “community of practice” to improve communication, make the best use of available resources, and achieve better results.

The group does not make decisions about participants’ operational or strategic approach to pest management. 


Currently the Collective is made up of around a dozen organisations from government agencies, science organisations and other organisations interested in pest management.                                                                                                                             

They include:   

  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council
  • Biological Heritage National Science Challenge
  • Department of Conservation
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Environment Southland
  • Lincoln University
  • Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research
  • Ministry for Primary Industries/Biosecurity New Zealand
  • Predator Free 2050 Ltd.
  • Taranaki Regional Council
  • Te Tira Whakamātaki/The Māori Biosecurity Network

Sharing Research

A research tracker spreadsheet has been created to capture and share information about the vertebrate pest research that has recently happened, or is currently happening, in Aotearoa New Zealand.  

By making this information publicly available, the Collective hopes to help others identify opportunities for collaboration, access the latest tools and recognise research gaps – all of which will lead to more efficient and effective use of resources by researchers, land managers and community groups.

VPR Research Tracker for Bionet - July 2022 

The research tracker will be regularly updated with new research; please let us know if there are any research projects not included that we could add or if you have feedback on accessing and using the tracker.  

You can provide feedback, seek further information about a research project or connect with researchers by using the Bionet contact form