PHOTO: Rod Morris

Joining up effort to reinvigorate New Zealand’s wildlife capital

The Predator Free Dunedin project draws on the combined effort of 20 conservation related agencies and groups, building on community restoration efforts over more than ten years and recent TB predator control investments by OSPRI.

The project aims to remove possums from 9,000 ha Otago Peninsula and suppress possums and mustelids across landscapes north of Dunedin bordered by State Highway 1, to create a halo around Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

The two tongues of land will be connected through Dunedin’s urban area where 20 percent of urban households will be encouraged to undertake predator control. Predators will also be eradicated from two small ‘stepping stone’ islands in Otago Harbour.

Predator free landscapes and corridors will enable wildlife populations to spread, thrive and move back into the city.

Dunedin’s renowned wildlife includes seabirds like royal albatross and yellow-eyed penguins on Otago Peninsula and forest birds such as South Island kaka, South Island robins, riflemen and tomtits, concentrated around Orokonui.

The project will utilise Dunedin’s specialist expertise in conservation management, education and information and communications technologies and is backed by provisions in the Regional Pest Management Plan.

Launched October 3, 2018
PF2050Ltd investment $4.33m
Total project investment $15m
Funding commitment 5 years
Project lead Predator Free Dunedin Charitable Trust
Māori partners Te Rūnanga ō Otakou, Kati Huirapa ki Puketeraki
Collaborators Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council, Department of Conservation, OSPRI, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, Landscape Connections Trust, Manaaki Whenua, Otago Natural History Trust
Ambition 30,000 ha
Design Possum free Otago Peninsula, suppresion north of the harbour, an urban buffer, and use of SH1 as a natural boundary.