Predator Free 2050 goal one year old

  • 26/07/2017
Possum in New Zealand
Possums have no predators in New Zealand and thrive on the native forest. Photo credit: Getty

The Predator Free 2050 project is a year old and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says it's making good progress.

The aim is to rid New Zealand of possums, rats and stoats by 2050.

"It's the most important conservation project in the history of our country," Ms Barry said.

"Over the last year we've built a national movement dedicated to achieving our objective - one which is receiving international interest."

The government has put $28 million of initial funding into predator control projects and there is a draft science strategy to develop the technology that's going to be needed.

"This is just the start of a long road, but if we work together we can achieve something once thought impossible," Ms Barry said.

She's announced four interim goals set for the project by 2025:

  • An additional 1 million hectares of land where pests have been suppressed or removed
  • ¬†Development of a scientific breakthrough capable of removing at least one small mammalian predator from New Zealand entirely
  • Demonstrate areas of more than 20,000 hectares can be predator free without the use of fences
  • Complete removal of all introduced predators from offshore island nature reserves.