Flying, biodegradable rat traps

Today we had the pleasure of hosting Minister of Conservation Kiritapu Allan to kick off our most ambitious R&D project yet!

Imagine a very small rat trap - about the size of a shuttlecock - that can be thrown from a helicopter or drone, that will then biodegrade once it's done its job. At Goodnature, we’re about to turn this into a reality.  

Kicking off the ‘micro-trap for rats project’, our designers, researchers, scientists and engineers, will design, build and test a prototype for a non-toxic, micro kill trap for Norway and ship rats, to help fulfill Aotearoa New Zealand's collective predator free ambitions.

Designed and tested for aerial deployment in remote and hard to reach areas in New Zealand the trap will biodegrade in-situ after delivering a humane kill. Both the materials of the trap along with the lure will be non-toxic.

“There are more than a few technical challenges with this one! How can we make this as small as possible? How can we make it durable enough that it survives being thrown out of a helicopter cruising along at 250km/hr, yet made from materials that will gently biodegrade back into the environment along with the rat it has killed? All while we ensure it delivers a humane kill? The micro-trap pushes innovation in predator control into new territory. While we might not have all the answers yet, we’re excited about what the micro-trap will mean for our native species and are up for the challenge.” - Robbie van Dam, co-founder Goodnature.


The project is planned to take five years to deliver a trap that once deployed, does not need to be re-set for the duration of its functional life, providing a cost effective predator control tool for use at landscape scale, including difficult to access locations.

This project will be supported by $1.3m of funding from the Department of Conservation and Predator Free 2050, alongside co-investment from Goodnature.

Check out this article if you want to learn more.