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The New Zealand Government has a vision of becoming predator-free by 2050. The Department of Conservation (DOC) and other organisations are working together to realise this vision for New Zealand.

Achieving the goal of a Predator-Free New Zealand by 2050 will require a massive team effort across the public, private, iwi and community sectors.

Maggie Barry, Conservation Minister, 25 July 2016

Becoming predator-free will have many benefits for New Zealand. The obvious benefit is the protection of our native and endemic species, as well as benefits to tourism and primary industries sectors. The strengthening of social and cultural links to the environment right across New Zealand will also be a significant outcome, and it will provide a legacy for future generations.

How will it be achieved?

Eradicating pests such as possums, rats and stoats will require a national co-ordinated approach. There are already many community groups, iwi and public and private sector groups working on pest eradication projects. A team effort to maximise the outcomes for all groups across new Zealand is required if New Zealand is to reach the goal by 2050.

New Zealand is already a world leader in conservation research and technology and has numerous large-scale projects across multiple stakeholders throughout New Zealand.

The government is committed to forming a new public-private partnership company, Predator Free 2050 Limited, that will help fund large-scale predator eradication programmes on a regional level. Working together is the key to reaching such an ambitious goal.

Technology

One of the keys to achieving a predator-free New Zealand by 2050 will be the discovery of new technological advances in predator control and monitoring techniques. New Zealand is leading the world in research and development in this area. One example is the Goodnature trapping system, which uses automatic gas-powered traps that humanely kill targeted pest species. They automatically reset for multiple kills without monitoring. The Goodnature traps use pheromone baits to attract specific species.

The Goodnature company shares the vision of a predator-free New Zealand and is constantly working to develop and refine products that make it easy for everyone to create sanctuaries in their backyards.

How can you get involved?

Predators are found in both urban and rural areas. In urban areas, individuals can make a difference by monitoring and trapping predator species on their own property. Schools can also make an impact by working with local councils to control predators in the school grounds and encourage the wider community to get involved.

New Zealanders have rightly taken great pride in our conservation efforts to date. If we harness the strength of everyone who is keen to be involved in this project, I believe we will achieve the vision of a Predator-Free New Zealand by 2050 and make our landscape a safe haven again for our native taonga species.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry

ZEALANDIA is an example of a fully predator-proof fenced urban ecosanctuary. It has a 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as close as possible to their pre-human state. ZEALANDIA is contributing towards the vision of Predator Free 2050. It has an extensive range of education programmes and resources. ZEALANDIA, with support from WWF New Zealand, has produced a comprehensive teaching resource supporting New Zealand schools to explore the pest-free vision with students.

Nature of science

Working collaboratively and sharing scientific knowledge and understanding is a productive way we can make scientific advances in technology.

Inspire your students to connect with their local natural environment, explore fauna and flora and discover through a process of inquiry ideas that support a pest-free vision.

This series of unit plans and resources focuses on students becoming actively involved in contributing to a pest-free New Zealand:

New Zealand’s conservation efforts are seen as world leading in native restoration through citizen science, often extensively involving community participation and volunteers. Student participation through inquiry and action can have a positive impact on improving New Zealand’s biodiversity, adding to our national efforts in conservation. 

Related content

Find out how a weasel going through a tracking tunnel at  ZEALANDIA was the first sign of that this pest had got past the predator-proof fence. In the activity Making a tracking tunnel, students monitor the presence of pest species in a neighbouring gully or their school grounds.

In the recorded online PD session Teachers using the Hub – Bird conservation and literacy, teacher Kim MacPherson talks about the Science Learning Hub’s resources and how she used a literacy approach to engage and explore science issues with year 7 and 8 students.

The recorded PLD webinar Pest detectives will help scaffold student investigations into plant and animal pests. You might also like to see these other webinars that wre part of this series we produced with the Department of Conservation: Eco-explorersOur native trees and Eco-champions​​​​​​.

This article gives some background information research in biosecurity.

This slide show supports students to consider the pros and cons of predator control methods.

Useful links

ZEALANDIA has many other educational resources. For advice or assistance in implementing this programme please contact the ZEALANDIA Education team, education@visitzealandia.com. If your school is in the Wellington region and you would like support to run this programme, access ZEALANDIA’s free Outreach programme by contacting education@visitzealandia.com.

Find out more about local and global conservation efforts by WWF.

If you want to get involved at an individual or community level, check out Predator Free New Zealand Trust.

Read about DOC’s work with Predator Free 2050.

The Backyard Sanctuaries website has lots of information on trapping​, our wildlife, pests, workshops and more.

Acknowledgement

ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary. It has an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature as the world’s leading conservation organisation. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.

    Published 7 March 2017 Referencing Hub articles