Website raises funds to save native birds

Auckland engineering students Fraser McConnell and Alex Hannon have created a website called 'Squawk Squad' that is raising money for the trapping of predators in New Zealand's bush.

Using the website, members of the public can contribute to the price of $400 traps, which, once fully funded, are deployed in the bush by wildlife sanctuaries.

The high-tech traps do the rest and, through the web app, send donors live notifications whenever there's a kill. The traps are self-resetting and can kill 24 rats without the need for any maintenance.

So far, 867 people have contributed to the cost of 130 traps in sanctuaries all over the country, from the Kiwi Care sanctuary on the Thames Coast to Te Rere Penguin Reserve in the Catlins at the bottom of the South Island.

McConnell said Squawk Squad aimed to achieve the "game-ification of conservation".