Rat versus robot – but only one of them has wings.

On a private west coast island near Auckland this week, a test was being conducted to see if that match-up could ever be successful, for the sake of New Zealand biodiversity.

Could Kiwi conservationists target rats, mice, possums – some of the invasive predators putting our native bird species at risk – with drones?

Associate Professor at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in the Bay of Plenty, Craig Morley, thinks so.

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This week's test was part of a ground-breaking conservation project he started years ago.

Morley's background is in

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