The Predator Free 2050 Limited research strategy is designed to develop, by 2025, a science solution capable of eradicating at least one small mammalian predator from the mainland; an important milestone on the road to a predator free New Zealand.
It has been constructed by a strategy group through the New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, and has been independently peer-reviewed. The strategy is not set in stone, but will be modified according to research progress and developments in the wider science community.
The initial priority components of the strategy are organised into four research programmes.
- ‘Environment and society’ will explore social and cultural views about predator eradication, and confirm and expand our understanding of environmental and ecological consequences.
- ‘Eradicating the last 1%’ and ‘New genetic control tools’ are the two technical research programmes. The components of each were identified by the strategy group as offering the greatest potential benefit to Predator Free 2050 goals.
- ‘Computer modelling’ underpins the strategy, and will develop shared tools that all communities and agencies contributing to Predator Free 2050 can use to design the right approach for their goals and environment.
The work-plan to implement the initial components is currently being finalised, and complements the development of host-specific toxins and improved lures already ongoing through the Challenge. We are also investigating ways to support research in other areas that would increase our ability to achieve our predator eradication goals.