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About Us

HELP KEEP NEW ZEALAND FREE OF NEW WEEDS AND PESTS

Find-A-Pest is a new app that provides users with simple options to report potential insect and fungal pests of plants, pest weeds, and a range of other animal pests.

 

Find-A-Pest is your opportunity to participate in the Ko Tātou movement of all New Zealanders contributing to biosecurity. It's an easy to use app, with observations made simply by clicking the camera button or via one of the factsheets. The factsheets highlight particular species that are of interest to the sectors that you have subscribed to in your profile.

When you make an observation you will quickly get help from specialists at Find-A-Pest and via the iNaturalist NZ community. If your observation is considered to be a potential biosecurity threat then it may be forwarded to Biosecurity New Zealand who will, if necessary, contact you for more information if they feel it is necessary. Comments and identifications will appear directly in your activity page along with all of the observations you have logged to date.

DEVELOPMENT

The app was developed as a collaboration between scientists at Scion and Lincoln University that was funded by the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, Regional Councils (via Environment Southland through Envirolink Tools), Biosecurity New ZealandNew Zealand Forest Owners AssociationZespri, and Kiwifruit Vine Health.

 

An extensive co-design process underpinned the choice of app functionality that had input from additional partners, including Te Tira WhakamatakiiNaturalist NZDepartment of ConservationHawke’s Bay Regional CouncilAuckland CouncilNZ AvocadoNZ WineHorticulture New ZealandNew Zealand Apples and PearsDairy NZ, and Wakatū Incorporation.

The app was built by the clever people at Tauranga based Cucumber.

APP FEATURES

Alerts and news

Get notifications of biosecurity alerts relevant to you, displayed on your phone even when the Find-A-Pest app is closed. Also get news on pests and events related to your industries of interest and your region of NZ.

Identification Notifications

When one of our identifiers responses to your observation, or a comment is made on your observation within iNaturalist NZ, 

COMPUTER VISION

iNaturalist has used their millions of identified photos to build an amazing machine learning system they call computer vision. This is used on the app to give instant identification suggestions of observations.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR FIND-A-PEST?

MAPS OF NEARBY OBSERVATIONS

See what pests and weeds have been detected by Find-A-Pest users in your neighbourhood.

GEOFENCING

Version 1.0 of Find-A-Pest asks you to tell it your region of interest. Future versions will know where you are automatically using the GPS in your phone. Further down the track, we're keen to see the app give you relevant real-time info on the pests and weeds to look out for everywhere you go. For example, when you arrived at a nature reserve, Find-A-Pest would automatically detect your location and tell you the most important pests and weeds to look out for on your walk.