The fu­ture of birdlife con­ser­va­tion

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

Na­tive bird con­ser­va­tion could soon be as ac­ces­si­ble as a push no­ti­fi­ca­tion to your phone.

Squawk Squad is an Auck­land busi­ness that plans to use an app to con­nect peo­ple across the coun­try to rat traps. Each time a trap kills a ro­dent a no­ti­fi­ca­tion is sent to users who have con­trib­uted money to the en­ter­prise.

Squawk Squad will use gas pow­ered rat-traps from Welling­ton com­pany Good­na­ture and wire­less sen­sor net­works from Auck­land com­pany En­counter Solutions.

Each trap costs $400. Squawk Squad wants 20 pledgers per trap, each con­tribut­ing $20 through a Kick­starter cam­paign be­gin­ning on May 1.

The con­ser­va­tion tool was thought up by Grey Lynn res­i­dent Fraser McCon­nell and North Shore busi­ness part­ner Alex Han­non.

McCon­nell said Squawk Squad aimed to be the ‘‘gam­i­fi­ca­tion of con­ser­va­tion’’.

‘‘We be­lieve that if we can con­nect a lot more peo­ple to the process of con­ser­va­tion then we can make much more of a big dif­fer­ence,’’ McCon­nell said.

Those who con­trib­ute get to see ex­actly where the traps are be­ing de­ployed.

Each trap can kill 24 rats be­fore its gas can­is­ter needs to be re­set, com­pared to a tra­di­tional trap that needs to be re­set after ev­ery rat.

JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Squawk Squad founders Alex Han­non and Fraser McCon­nell.

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