Despite the challenges of Covid restrictions, Lisa Waldner and Bianca Ranson have ensured Pestival will go on in a virtual setting.

The use of words like “modelling” and “data” have become commonplace for talking about the Covid-19 pandemic, but they are also useful tools in conversation work. Waiheke residents interested in conservation will have the chance to learn about the application of numbers to this sphere when wildlife and conservation modelling researcher Rachel Fewster presents a webinar next week.

The webinar is part of the re-jigged Pestival that was due to take kick off on 21 August with a family fun day at Piritahi Marae. Despite the Covid-induced interruption, Waiheke Collective coordinators Bianca Ranson and Lisa Waldner have rearranged the Pestival so it can go ahead online and, over the next four weeks, anyone can log in to a webinar at 6pm every Thursday evening.

The series begins with a workshop that hones in on responsible pet ownership, after all it’s not such a  big stretch from “pets” to “pests”. Beginning at 6pm on Thursday 21 October, this first workshop will cover how to talk with others in the community about responsible pet ownership. The session will be led by Auckland Council’s biosecurity advisor pest detection dogs Brian Shields and biosecurity principal advisor Dr Imogen Bassett, who will be joined for a panel discussion by Wisca’s Glenda Gouws and Jasmine Sinden from Pet Connect NZ.

Wildlife and conservation modelling researcher Rachel Fewster presents her webinar on Thursday 28 October, when she will discuss what is known about Waiheke stoats and rats. Rachel follows data across species from tiny sea snails to colossal right whales and she will share how Waiheke’s rats and stoats fit into the bigger picture, as well as tell some incredible stories from around the country showcasing what has been discovered about these wily adversaries.

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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