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Most 11-year-olds spend time kicking a ball around, or, more likely, on devices - but not when you have a passion for nature.

Piha local Jay Leighton is designing his own pest traps, and his ideas have impressed conservation experts. 

This is how Jay keeps himself busy - not on the couch or the computer but in the bush reloading pest traps near his house in Piha.

"I tried out mayonnaise for a bit, they didn't seem to like it as much," he says.

The 11-year-old is a keen conservationist and knows our native species are in trouble.

"I'd really like to see our native birds everywhere again. Like have tuatara in the wood stack, and kiwi dashing across the trails at night," he says.

He's so determined to make it happen he's come up with some of his own creative designs to get rid of unwanted critters.

"My favourite one was the droppable thermal detection camera, and basically you would drop it from a helicopter and it would spring open, and it would put 1080-infused yoghurt out and then the pests would eat it hopefully," he says.

There's also the venus fly trap-inspired flower trap. One for feral cats too, with a built-in microchip scanner to release any family pets caught by mistake.

He's sent the blueprints off to the Department of Conservation (DoC), hoping he can help them reach the Predator Free 2050 goal.

"It's just awesome to see young people so passionate about biodiversity [and] really engaged in finding solutions," says DoC electronics team manager Grant Redvers.

The team's planning a Zoom session with Jay and want to pick his brain for other ideas.

"Some of the concepts he was thinking about were really in line with what some of our engineers working in this field are thinking about so he's spot on," Redvers says.

"It would be cool to have something which is similar to some of my ideas," Jay adds.

He's started by keeping his backyard predator-free. One trap at a time.

Article courtesy of "NewsHub"

The link for the video is HERE.

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