What we do

Our Strategic Plan

We have a bold strategic plan which requires funding and expert input.

A Conservation Group Management System

In 2017 a number of volunteers got together because they all struggled with similar issues trying to coordinate their pest free efforts.

There were too many different systems, from pieces of paper to Excel, from home-made tracking websites to donated Customer Relationship Management systems, from Mailchimp to Gmail. There are apps to track trap catches, there are systems to email out reminders, there are websites with calendars… but nothing is connected. 

The coordinators asked around what other groups used in search of a better, more streamlined system, and found there was none.

In 2019 EcoNet was set up to work with experts on a solution. We work with pest free groups, IT specialists, business analysts and data gurus. It could be a new software product, or several current products combined. 

The core of the new Conservation Activity Management System is formed by:

  1. The needs of the conservation groups (we call them “use cases”)

  2. Accurate data (we call them “data standards”).

At the moment we have an ongoing survey to hear from coordinators all over New Zealand how software can help them, and what they are currently using and like or dislike about it.

The survey.

Conservation Group tools - Software resources to help your group thrive

We are working on systems and processes which are currently being used in a piecemeal (and often effective) way in community conservation organisations. This is a work in progress. If you would like to contribute or collaborate please contact us. Read more.

Meaningful Data - Data Standards

How do you track your bait uptake? In blocks? In grams? 

And how do you record your trap catches? As rattus rattus? As mature female Norway rat? 

Why are you capturing any information, and how can it be retrieved?

As you can imagine, everyone does it differently. This makes it very hard for researchers to do any meaningful analysis on ‘best practice’: what works best, in what environment? We need the answers all of us need to become more effective at what we do to reach our goal of a predator free Aotearoa in 2050. 

This document describes the key issues: disparate predator control datasets, lack of consistent data formatting and underutilisation of data –  Predator Related Data Standard Discussion Document.

Or read the short overview.

This work is being funded by Predator Free 2050 Ltd. The author Olivia Rothwell is currently looking for feedback. Contact here at econetnz@gmail.com.

Pooling Data for Effectiveness - Data Commons

Where ‘data standards’ is about the “what” we record, ‘data commons’ is about “how” we share that data with others.

Over the years, many talented individuals, not-for-profits and businesses have identified a specific area where they needed an app or a bit of software for and then developed that. Usually it is specific for one group or one job they needed doing. As they were all done independently, they didn’t think about how to share the information they gathered. 

To address this sharing of information, ‘data commons’ are needed: rules around ways to share information: how to get it into a shared system and how to get it out. EcoNet is working with key partners and stakeholders to facilitate this. 

EcoNet volunteer Craig Steed depicted the current situation and our future state aspiration clearly in the images below.

A voice for community groups

Econet is a voice for community conservation groups in the conservation sector. We ensure the community sector is not forgotten when systems are being designed or implemented.