9 Mar 2020

Government outlines plan to make New Zealand predator free by 2050

9:06 am on 9 March 2020

The government has launched its strategy aimed at making New Zealand predator free by 2050.

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Photo: chill/123RF

The Department of Conservation has released a strategy to reach its goals for Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025.

The plan will focus on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels.

To do this, the plan has three key phases of work - mobilising people and resources, innovating new tools to eradicate pests, and effectively manage predators throughout the country.

Interim 2025 goals also include wiping out all mammalian predators from uninhabited offshore islands and developing a breakthrough science solution to eradicate one small mammal predator from the mainland.

In 2018, the government approved $81.28 million over four years to suppress predators in specific areas while a further $16m was invested in Predator Free 2050 through the Provincial Growth Fund last year.

Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said the strategy was another step forward to save threatened native species.

"With 2019 the most successful breeding season for kākāpō ever, it is important to develop more safe, predator free areas as homes for kākāpō and to enable so many other of Aotearoa's unique birds, insects, wildlife and plants to thrive.

"Not everyone can roll up their sleeves and get involved on the ground doing the predator trapping or aerial control but everyone can support healthy indigenous nature by recognising the need to control and eradicate pests such as possum, stoats and rats," Sage said.

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