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Conservation technology

Our team has the first dedicated conservation technology team in New Zealand.

Our research

We are currently working on the development of protocols and conservation community friendly software for the use of automatic recorders and video cameras for the monitoring of wildlife and outcomes from conservation efforts. We are ultimately interested in linking animal density through the behaviour (calling, spatial ecology) we collect to measure the effectiveness of conservation management. We work with Iwi/Hapu and other end-users in a mātauranga māori environment, and are collaborating with a large number of experts. We work under the auspices of Te Pūnaha Matatini.


The AviaNZ project is one of our initiatives. It involves researching and developing software to automatically analyse and recognise bird vocalisations from audio recordings. This is used to detect population changes of different bird species over time.

We have now two new students at Massey with Isabel Castro and two with Stephen Marsland who now works at Victoria University. With Isabel at Massey: Emma Feenstra started her PhD in December 2017 looking at the use of acoustics and camera trapping to estimate densities of Rakiura Tokoeka. Her study will cross with our brown kiwi programme as she will be studying some basic biological aspects of the Tokoeka as well. Alberto de Rosa started his PhD in June last year and he has been looking at calling behaviour of birds and how that would influence our estimations of density when we use acoustics.

We are also working with Te Patukeha and Ngati Kuta monitoring the effects of a 1080 drop at Rakaumangamanga, Ipipiri (Cape Brett, Bay of Islands). We have Masters student Kayla Purvis analysing the tonnes of data we are producing and hope to soon have some to show!

Team leaders


Postgraduate students