Stoat with tūī
Image: Rod Morris ©

Introduction

Rats, stoats and possums kill millions of native birds every year and have pushed species to the brink of extinction.

Threats to native species

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 pests, causing a lot of economic damage and posing a risk to human health.

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.

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.

Benefits of Predator Free 2050

Predator Free 2050 will protect our biodiversity, including our threatened native species and ecosystems.

It will also benefit the social and cultural links with our environment, our regional economies through primary industries and tourism. Benefits include:

  • strengthening our communities and national identity
  • creating a healthier population through increased recreation
  • delivering enhanced agricultural and tourism returns
  • creating new opportunities for regional development
  • leaving an impressive conservation legacy for future generations.
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