BASF supports second phase of New Zealand biodiversity project
- Community-led Wasp Wipeout project gains momentum with NZ$35,000 donation from BASF
- First phase of project reduced invasive wasp population through community baiting
- Next phase targets the west coast of the South Island and Canterbury
Auckland, New Zealand – 1 February, 2019 – Wasp Wipeout, a community-led conservation program in New Zealand, will move into its second phase with a grant of NZ$35,000 from BASF, the world’s leading chemical company. In 2019, the program aims to continue strategic baiting to eradicate invasive wasps from around 10,000 hectares of land on the west coast of the South Island and Canterbury.
“You don’t have to be in New Zealand for long to see that wasps cause immense stress to both wildlife and people,” said Dale Barron, New Zealand Country Manager at BASF. “With this donation, we aim to support community-led measures to manage the problems posed by this invasive species.”
Wasps feed on the food sources of native birds and insects, creating a devastating impact on the local food chain and biodiversity. They nest in large numbers, breed quickly and cause havoc and health risks to daily life as they progress into populated areas.
The control method adopted by the project – and approved for public use – utilises the protein-based wasp bait Vespex®, produced by a local company, Merchento, using BASF’s insecticide, fipronil.
“Vespex has been especially designed to be very selective in how it is baited to only target the European Wasp,” explained Barron.
BASF worked closely with Merchento and the New Zealand Department of Conservation to develop procedures to ensure good stewardship around the use of the product. The protein-based bait has no appeal to other insects, including bees, and is stored in a special bait box, making it inaccessible by birds.
The Wasp Wipeout project involves several local organizations including the Nelson Mail newspaper, the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Tasman Environmental Trust, Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council and various community groups. The program invites local residents and organisations to have their areas baited by an approved user and a group of volunteers.
“The protection of biodiversity is an important part of BASF’s commitment to sustainability. It’s really positive to see how passionate the community is in supporting this cause and we look forward to having members from our team volunteer alongside them when times comes for baiting,” said Barron.
In 2017 - 2018 BASF donated NZ$22,000 to the Wasp Wipeout project. Since community fundraising for the second stage was launched in December 2018, over NZ$23,000 has been raised so far. To donate to the cause, click here.
About BASF in Australia and New Zealand
BASF posted sales of about €464 million in Australia and New Zealand in 2017, serving key industries in the agriculture, coatings, construction, manufacturing and mining sectors. As of the end of 2017, the company had 501 employees and operated 12 production sites across manufacturing and agricultural solutions, performance products and functional materials and solutions. BASF has been active in Australia for more than 90 years, and for about 60 years in New Zealand. Further information is available on the Internet at www.basf.com/au.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of more than €60 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.