Conservation Innovation Awards 2015

©: Gian Badraun

The WWF Conservation Innovation Award has allowed me to buy the hardware I needed to develop Trap Minder. Without it, I would still be pitching it, not developing it.

Gian Badraun, Winner, 2014 Product Category


Congratulations to our 2015 Winners

We are proud to celebrate the three winners of our 2015 Conservation Innovation Awards; a wasp-killing bait, an Iwi-led restoration project and a new-generation native lizard monitoring system. Read more about these ideas below.

Conservation Innovation Award winners are at the forefront of conservation thinking, with ideas that look set to change the game for New Zealand's voluntary conservation army, and our precious wildlife.

Be inspired by hearing the success stories of the 2014 winners....


2015 winner: Lure, Trap, Retreat!

Simple and sophisticated, this design for a new-style lizard trap is set to take lizard capture and monitoring to the next level. Lizards play a vital role within the ecosystem. Yet, despite there being more than 100 species endemic to New Zealand, we don’t know enough about them. This is largely due to the widespread use of old-fashioned ‘bucket’ traps, which can let in predators, as well as allow the lizards out. A new, secure trap which excludes unwanted visitors will significantly increase the volume of data collected, and mean communities can more easily track these cryptic critters.
Winning WWF’s Conservation Innovation Award and $25,000 funding will enable EcoGecko to take their design to a prototype that can be tested in the field.

2015 winner: He Manawa Whenua - He Oranga Tangata : Healthy Environment – Healthy People (The Uawanui Project)

A healthy environment means healthy people. This is the founding principle of an innovative community project which seeks to integrate conservation efforts alongside economic, social and cultural development and education. Iwi-led, the Uawanui Project has received overwhelming support from the wider community – including local groups and businesses, the farming and forestry industries and the education sector. The $25,000 WWF award grant will help the project communicate and share their experiences with other communities around Aotearoa.

2015 winner: Vespex

Vespex, a new protein-based bait that wasps carry back to their own nests – and which is unattractive to bees – will significantly reduce the $60 million worth of damage to the environment that invasive wasps cause every year. Successfully trialled in conjunction with the Department of Conservation, this bait is the only available tool for wide-area control of wasps in New Zealand and a real game-changer in the battle against both common and German wasps. Developed over many years, Vespex has ‘environmental safety and good stewardship’ at its heart. The WWF grant of $25,000 means Richard and his team can move from making small amounts of bait for research to commercial production, and trial systems for use by community conservation groups. 

WASP INVASION from James Reardon on Vimeo.

2014 winners

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The Conservation Innovation Awards are made possible by the generosity of The Tindall Foundation. 

WWF are proud to have worked with Tindall for 15 years to deliver much-needed funding to community conservation and environmental education initiatives. 

Thanks Tindall!