It’s an ambitious goal to restore New Zealand’s natural taonga, economy and primary sector.
Predator Free 2050 brings together central and local government, iwi, philanthropists, non-government organisations (like us), businesses, science and research organisations, communities, landowners and individuals.
Why Predator Free 2050?
Watch this video to learn why our native wildlife is so susceptible to introduced predators.
Why rats, stoats and possums?
Rats, stoats, and possums kill approximately 25 million native birds every year. They are the most damaging mammalian predators that threaten New Zealand’s natural taonga, economy and primary sector.
- Rats threaten the survival of many native species such as wētā, snails, lizards and birds. They eat almost anything, including our native species and their food sources. They are common agricultural, industrial and domestic predators, causing a great deal of economic damage and posing a risk to human health.
- Stoats have caused the extinction of several New Zealand bird species and are the major cause of decline for many other species, including reptiles and invertebrates. They attack defenceless young kiwi and contribute to the continuing decline of mainland kiwi populations.
- Possums eat many native species including snails and beetles as well as native birds. They decimate forest canopies and compete directly with native birds such as kiwi for food and resources. Possums spread bovine tuberculosis to cattle and deer, resulting in high costs and lost productivity. They also harm horticulture and commercial forestry crops.
Benefits of going predator free
- We’ll preserve our threatened species, improve our biodiversity, create greater ecological resilience and restore our unique ecosystems.
Cultural and social benefits
- We’ll provide a legacy for future generations. It’s becoming more difficult to show our children and grandchildren the environment we grew up in, and the range of wildlife our ancestors experienced 100 years ago no longer exists.
- We’ll strengthen our national identity. Our natural spaces provide us with a unique and unrivaled way of life.
- We’ll feel better and more connected. The exercise and natural surroundings enjoyed by volunteer conservationists improves health, and group involvement strengthens communities.
- We’ll save the $70 million per year that it currently costs to manage rats, stoats and possums.
- We’ll reduce costs and losses from damage and disease in our agricultural and forestry industries.
- We’ll boost revenue and employment in our tourism and trade industries as New Zealand become more admired for its unique wildlife and pristine landscapes.
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.