Biodiversity Ranger Supervisor Darrell Haworth explains the how and why of backyard trapping

Image: Jolan Kilkelly | ©


Find out more about the PF2050 goal and how we plan to achieve it.

Predator Free 2050 goal

Predator Free 2050 is an ambitious goal to protect our natural taonga, economy and primary sector by ridding New Zealand of rats, stoats and possums by 2050.

By 2025, we will:

  • suppress target predators on a further 1 million hectares through Predator Free 2050 projects.
  • eradicate predators from blocks of at least 20,000 hectares without the use of fences.
  • eradicate all predators from offshore island nature reserves.
  • achieve a breakthrough science solution capable of eradicating at least one small mammalian predator from New Zealand.

Is it possible?

Take a look at how far we've already come in this video by Forest & Bird. Do you think we can do it?

Which pests are we targeting?

PF2050 aims to eradicate stoats, rats and possums from the whole of New Zealand by 2050. These species were chosen because, collectively, they inflict the worst damage of all the introduced pests on New Zealand’s plants and wildlife. Furthermore, we know more about their biology and control than any other pests.

‘Stoats’ may be interpreted as all three of the mustelid species in New Zealand. Similarly, the term ‘rats’ encompasses all three rat species in New Zealand: ship rats, Norway rats and kiore (Pacific rat). Therefore, ferrets and weasels are included:

  • Stoat (Mustela erminea)
  • Ferret (Mustela putorius furo)
  • Weasel (Mustela nivalis)
  • Ship rat (Rattus rattus)
  • Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus)
  • Pacific rat/kiore (Rattus exulans)
  • Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)


New Zealand is a world leader in conservation technology and research. We’ve already made progress once unthinkable.

Predator Free 2050 will be achieved through the following cooperative efforts:

  • Connecting the efforts already underway across communities, iwi, private businesses, philanthropists, scientists, and government.
  • Government funding of $28 million over four years and $7 million per year thereafter. This is on top of over $70 million already spent each year on predator control by Government, Regional Councils, OSPRI, businesses, iwi, communities, and others.
  • Existing predator control projects and campaigns which sustain our threatened species and teach us lessons for securing their future.
  • A focus on developing breakthrough predator-control tools and techniques, and the forging of necessary networks – we do not yet have the technology to achieve a predator-free New Zealand.

Research Strategy

A research strategy has been designed to develop the tools and technology capable of eradicating at least one small mammalian predator from the mainland – an important milestone on the road to a predator-free New Zealand.

Research strategy on the Predator Free 2050 Limited website

Latest technology

NEXT Foundation

NEXT Foundation generously fund Predator Free 2050 initiatives. They support work underway in the Marlborough Sounds by Zero Invasive Predators as well as NEXT Predator Free Community Champion Kelvin Hastie. 

NEXT Foundation has also partnered with the Wellington Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council to support Wellington’s mission to become the first predator-free capital city in the world.

Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP)

ZIP research new tools and techniques to achieve the removal of rats, stoats and possums from large mainland areas in New Zealand. These guys are tough. They’re battling away in remote parts of the country in all types of terrain and weather to make sure we reach our ambitious goal to be predator-free.

Zero Invasive Predators

Cacophony Project 

The Cacophony Project is exciting new technology sponsored by NEXT Foundation. The brainchild of Cantabrian engineer, inventor and entrepreneur Grant Ryan.

The project began as a way to record and analyse birdsong (hence "Cacophony") as a measure of predator control success. It has developed into an open-source conservation initiative developing sound lures – like a possum mating call – and artificial intelligence to help completely remove predators.

Cacophony Project

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