An ambitious goal to rid New Zealand of the most damaging introduced predators that threaten our nation’s natural taonga, our economy and primary sector.
Ridding New Zealand of possums, rats and stoats by 2050 is a New Zealand-wide goal. It will require new techniques and a co-ordinated team effort across communities, iwi, and the public and private sectors.
Predator Free 2050 will deliver huge benefits across New Zealand – for the social and cultural links with our environment, for our regional economies through primary industries and tourism and for our threatened native species.
Our Chairman, Sir Rob Fenwick, has declared a call to arms to protect our country – in a national battle against invasive predators.
Building from a strong base
New Zealand is a world leader in conservation technology and research. We have already made progress that was once unthinkable because of:
- tens of thousands of committed community volunteers and private landowners who are already working on habitat protection
- philanthropic and community-led initiatives, including fenced sanctuaries, large-scale predator control projects like Cape to City in the Hawkes Bay and Project Janszoon in Abel Tasman National Park, and predators being targeted across whole suburbs
- significant investment in predator management by regional councils and OSPRI
- new predator control techniques such as self-resetting traps and predator-specific toxins
- continual refinement of existing techniques to make them safer and more cost effective (eg GPS guided aerial application of 1080).
NZ has cleared all predators from more than 100 islands, and trials are under way to secure mainland sites.
Why Predator Free 2050 is important
Rats, stoats and possums kill millions of native birds every year and have pushed species to the brink of extinction. Managing just these three predators for agriculture and conservation costs over $70 million each year. In 2016/17 the government invested $20 million on top of this to protect species from an increase in predators caused by heavy seeding (or ‘masting’) of beech forests.
Predator Free 2050 will:
- remove the major threats to our native wildlife
- enhance economic return from agriculture and forestry and reduce risk of disease
- create new opportunities for regional development
- reinforce New Zealand’s trade and tourism brand
- provide a legacy for future generations.
There many organisations and people involved in achieving this goal including:
- The Department of Conservation — they will deliver the Predator Free 2050 programme, meeting the goals and coordinating different agencies involved
- Predator Free 2050 Ltd — the company set up by the government to invest in large landscape scale projects and breakthrough research. It is expected to leverage additional contributions from business, local government and philanthropists
- Predator Free NZ Trust (that’s us!).
Regardless, this will be a team effort by everyone to achieve this ambitious goal.