A science breakthrough for Predator Free 2050 without a deep respect for ethics and the social licence to operate is no breakthrough at all. We also need to understand the likely ecological and environmental consequences of our predator management actions, to best guide their application.
- Bioethics panel – An objective ethical assessment of predator management, including animal welfare, GM, philosophical, legal and cultural considerations, is underway through the Biological Heritage Challenge. Such results and advice will inform our ongoing research strategy.
- Social research – Discussion and consultation will also guide the strategy. A social survey on pest management, recently completed by the Challenge, will provide part of the starting point from which this conversation will progress.
- Cultural perspectives on predator management – New Zealand’s predator management goals, and the approaches used to achieve them, will be guided by Māori cultural concepts, values and perspectives.
- Ecological and ecosystem consequences of predator eradication – This will inform as necessary on the expected benefits of different management approaches, and the potential for unintended consequences such as possum control leading to increased rat numbers.