The Animal Ecology course is a free online course covering the differences between native and introduced animal species, how animals interact with each other, and why long-term predator control is vital.


What's the course about?

New Zealand native animals have developed strategies to avoid detection; using camouflage, keeping still and being nocturnal. Sadly, these strategies do not deter exotic predators which have an acute sense of smell, operate at night, aren’t fooled by camouflage and easily catch burrow dwelling prey.

Introduced predators often breed rapidly, reproduce at an early age, have a short lifespan and recover well from setbacks. Against this, some of the most important New Zealand native animals are long-lived, slow and low breeders, and mature late, which makes them highly susceptible to knockbacks.

Along with details about the ecology of animal pest species (such as their home range, habits and preferred habitat), the course also shares best practice and introduces the standard equipment and control methods used by DOC. A key feature is video footage showing native animals being preyed upon, and animal pests interacting with traps. The latter challenges a few myths about where and how to set traps.

The course takes about one hour to complete.

Who is it for?

Anyone who works or wants to work or volunteer in conservation, including:

  • Regional Council staff
  • Volunteers
  • Members of community groups/Trusts/funding recipients
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