Dunedin groups sign predator free pledge

Possums will be among the targets of the Predator Free Dunedin initiative. Photo: ODT files
Possums will be among the targets of the Predator Free Dunedin initiative. Photo: ODT files

Dunedin has pledged to keep wildlife safe, with 19 organisations signing a memorandum of understanding today as part of the Government's Predator Free 2050 goal.

Prime Minister Bill English and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry joined signatories at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary to celebrate the Predator Free Dunedin initiative.

“Predator Free Dunedin is exactly the sort of collaboration that is essential for New Zealand to be Predator Free by 2050. It will create a haven for wildlife in the wider Dunedin area and brings predator control into the city centre,” Ms Barry said.

“Momentum is growing for the Government’s Predator Free 2050 goal to rid New Zealand of rats, stoats and possums and I have no doubt Predator Free Dunedin will provide a strong model for other projects still to come.”

“Predator Free Dunedin is based on the concept of a city as a ‘living restoration laboratory’, linking research and education with action and connecting and supporting communities to restore the health of our natural environment.

“It links up a number of projects around Dunedin where volunteers are actively involved in predator management. For example, it connects the Pest Free Peninsula Project, which has just trapped its 11-thousandth possum, with other trapping projects.”

“Predator Free Dunedin takes the outstanding and innovative work already being done to the next level, as all parties work together to develop a city-wide management Plan that aligns with the Government’s Predator Free 2050 goal.”

A new company, Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will receive a minimum $6 million of Crown funds annually and will use this to attract additional investment.

“On average it will invest an extra $10 million or more into regionally significant predator control and eradication projects each year and around $3 million will be invested each year into break-through research on eradicating predators,” Ms Barry says.

This new investment, when added to the existing $70 million to $100 million spent annually on predator control, will result in more than $3 billion being invested in predator control and eradication by 2050.

Predator Free Dunedin

  • Aims to create a haven for wildlife in the wider Dunedin area, leading to increased breeding success of birds, enhanced reptile and invertebrate populations, and enhanced forest health.
  • The Predator Free Dunedin Memorandum of Understanding  has 20 signatories including treaty partners and all the statutory land managers for public land within the area identified to be predator-free. 
  • Partners include Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki, Te Runanga o Otakou, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, Landcare Research, University of Otago, Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council, DOC, Otago Polytechnic, OSPRI and 10 active charitable community organisations.
  • Under the memorandum, the parties have agreed to work co-operatively to develop a city-wide Predator Free Dunedin management plan that aligns with the Government’s '‘Predator Free 2050'’ target.
  •  This management plan will build upon existing Dunedin projects and will incorporate research, education and operational objectives.

Comments

I cannot believe $3 billion is being spent on predator control. What a farce. More than likely lining the pockets of the already wealthy poison companies.
They are in actual fact killing as many native birds as the so-called predators.
What a shame these people do not care about our native birdlife. With the kea on the endangered list, that's actually telling us something. Open your eyes, poisoners, and take a walk into the native bush in poisoned areas. You won't hear much birdlife any more.
Bill English and Maggie Barry, one day karma will come back and bite you.