New Zealand Pest-Free Nation In 2050; Most Ambitious Conservation Plan In The World?

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced their plan to completely rid New Zealand off rats and some other nuisance animals such as possums and stoats by the year 2050. New Zealand's birds and other native wildlife are currently being assaulted by the species that made homes on the island of New Zealand 200 years ago.

New Zealand aims to eradicate its soil of all invasive mammals. The country named the plan Predator Free New Zealand. The New Zealand Prime Minister said that the project is the most ambitious conservation plan attempted anywhere in the world. The country believes that if all the people of New Zealand will work together as a nation, the Predator Free New Zealand project's goal can be achieved.

The New Zealand government is hoping for a rat-free countryside and give a boost to native birds, including the iconic kiwi, Fox News reported. Many bird species are threatened with extinction because rats and other pests feast on their eggs and compete with them for food. This has become a big threat to New Zealand wildlife for years.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand also said that the government would contribute 28 million New Zealand dollars initially for over four years toward setting up a company to run the Predator Free New Zealand project. Then, they would consider partially matching money contributed by local councils and businesses.

Meanwhile, the current pest control methods in New Zealand use the controversial and widespread 1080 aerial poison drops. Some people also use the trapping and ground baiting method, as well as possum hunting.

Emeritus Professor of Conservation from the University of Auckland Mick Clout said that he was excited about the ambitious Predator Free New Zealand project. He continued by saying that if the goals are achieved, it would be a remarkable world's first, The Guardian reported.

New Zealand's intention of making its nation predator free is highly significant. Now that New Zealand has the money and the government behind it, Clout believes that the Predator Free New Zealand project is possible.

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