PHOTO: Rod Morris

Joining up effort to reinvigorate New Zealand’s wildlife capital

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

The work is split across three projects where delivery partners lead on-the-ground efforts. These are City Sanctuary (Dunedin City Council), the Halo Project (Landscape Connections Trust), and Predator Free Peninsula (Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group).

The project’s goals are varied and ambitious with the eradication of possums from the Peninsula, a reduction in possum numbers to zero density across 10,000 hectares in West Harbour and Mount Cargill (including stoat numbers reduced by 90%), and a reduction in possum numbers across 35,000 hectares in the west of State highway 1. The work doesn’t stop there with the continued removal of possums from urban reserves and backyards. Predators will also be eradicated from two small ‘stepping stone’ islands in Otago Harbour.

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.

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.