A Kiwi-made pest trap is having a big impact on restoring indigenous species on Hawaii's spectacular islands, including one owned by Oracle founder Larry Ellison.
The Goodnature A24 is a self-resetting trap that can go up to six months without being checked, a massive efficiency saving in hard-to-reach country.
Goodnature co-founder Robbie van Dam said thousands of the traps, which have been operating in New Zealand for several years, are being distributed on the Hawaiian islands of Oʻahu and Lana'i, which is 98 per cent owned by Ellison, one of the world's wealthiest men.
Ellison made the purchase in 2012 with a vision to establish a sustainable island set on conserving its energy, water and land resources.
Lana'i has several significant endangered species vulnerable to predators such as breeding colonies of endangered Hawaiian petrels, two species tree snails and rare plants endemic to the island.
Van Dam said major trap layouts were currently taking place with the US Army's natural resources programme to protect threatened and endangered species, particularly from rats.
"The US Army generally don't endorse anything and they are totally committed and into this product so it's going pretty crazy over there," he said.
"It's a crazy difficult area to walk so because you only have to check them every six months and you get constant suppression they're finally getting on top of the pest problem."
Previously local conservationists were using 460 traps across 26ha, compared with two traps per hectare.
"The challenges that the Hawaiian species face are the exact same as those our species do here. They've evolved without mammalian predators," van Dam said.
"In fact, their situation is even more dire because Hawaii comprises small islands with small pockets of habitat with special significance whereas in New Zealand when you lose, for instance, kiwi in one area thankfully we still have sister populations elsewhere."
New Zealand had come to be seen as the world leader in pest control and van Dam believed the traps, which could be adapted to kill other harmful species, were highly effective in other countries where indigenous species were being killed off.
The toxin-free trap that self-baits and has a carbon dioxide-pressurised piston strikes the rat's head killing it instantly and then retracts on a light spring. Because the deceased rat has not been poisoned it can be scavenged by other animals.
Goodnature now supports 35 staff and exports to 25 countries around the world.