Three new predator control products are being made ready to hit the shelves, and experts think they could be crucial to eliminating pests from New Zealand.
Image recognition software, an auto-resetting trap and a motion triggered enclosure are all expected to be available to community groups within 6 to 36 months, says Predator Free 2050.
They are the last of 18 innovative tools enabled over the last year, thanks to a $6.5 million grant from the Provincial Growth Fund.
Predator Free chief executive Abbie Reynolds says it's been a game-changer.
"The Products to Projects initiative aimed to change the predator control game so that we can completely remove target animals from large landscapes and then keep them out," said Reynolds.
One of the newest products uses artificial intelligence to identify introduced predators. Thousands of images of target animals have been loaded into databases so the software can process and recognise the pests.
Another product in the fight against pests is a motion-resetting trap which will capture the shyer animals still in the wild.
The enclosure will be able to be entered from any direction, with sensors that will snap it closed and allow the animal to be identified and removed.
Some of the early products enabled through the Products to Projects initiative are already making a difference.
Zero Invasive Predators tools have been used in operations to remove rats, stoats and possums from the 11,000 hectares of Perth Valley in South Westland and defend from reinvasion.
NZ Autotraps, which set up a new factory in Whakatane this year, is now producing 400 auto-luring and resetting possum and rat traps each month for use around the country.