Emeritus Professor Dave Towns, of Auckland, ONZM for services to conservation
Emeritus Professor Dave Towns led Wildlife Service projects that eradicated all rats and rabbits from Korapuki Island in the Mercury islands. In collaboration with ICI Crop Care Division, he was lead researcher for field tests of the efficacy of different rodenticides, leading to the extermination of rodents from more than 90 New Zealand islands. He was science advisor for pest eradications in the Bay of Islands, Hauturu, Taranga and Rangitoto-Motutapu. He has been involved in sixteen successful translocations of six species of skinks and one gecko to predator-free islands. He has published 83 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has edited or written seven books. As a result of Professor Towns’ research and trials, hundreds of native species, many of which were on the verge of expiration, are now recovering.