Media Statement: D’Urville Island project withdrawal
December 23, 2021 8:00 am
Predator Free 2050 Limited has formally withdrawn $900,000 in funding for the D’Urville Island stoat eradication project.
The Rangitoto Birdsong project, run by the D’Urville Island Stoat Eradication Charitable Trust, was initially paused in late 2020 due to it not being able to secure access to all the private land on the island. These land access issues have not been resolved and the project has now been put into hibernation.
Acting Chief Executive Brett Butland said one of the challenges of eradication projects is they typically cover both private and public land.
“Eradicating stoats on D’Urville Island is an important objective, but without guaranteed access to the entire target area on the island eradication isn’t possible – there would always be large pockets of land for stoats to reside in,” Brett Butland said.
“We’re disappointed for the Trust as we know how much effort has gone into planning this project to date. Though it’s important to note this is not a closed door.
“We hope land access issues will be resolved in time and we can look to support eradication projects on the island in the future. But until that happens, we need to redirect this money to other eradication projects that can get off the ground in the next year.”
Rupert Wilson, Chair for D’Urville Island Stoat Eradication Trust said that they had made every practical attempt to keep the project viable but had come to the realisation that no further avenues were available to progress the Trust’s vision.
“As a result, Trustees of DISECT decided that without the leadership and support of PF 2050 Limited, the Trust had no option but to ‘hibernate’ the Rangitoto Birdsong project. Our hope is that a project aimed at eradicating the island’s stoats will be launched sometime in the future when access to the whole of the island is available.”