Can we eradicate introduced mammalian predators from the entirety of New Zealand?

Dr James Russell, Senior Lecturer, Biological Sciences, and Statistics, Faculty of Science.

New Zealand leads the world in island conservation, and for over 50 years research has informed the eradication of introduced mammalian predators, such as rats, from small islands around the coast of New Zealand. Today, New Zealanders and their government are talking about eradicating these predators from some of the largest islands in New Zealand, if not the entire country. Achieving such an aspiration will require scientific breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences. Eradication of introduced mammalian pests will not only benefit biodiversity, but also people’s livelihoods and health through increased agricultural and economic productivity and eradication of diseases such as tuberculosis and leptospirosis. The University of Auckland in collaboration with partners is proud to continue providing the underpinning science which will help New Zealand become predator free by 2050, and a conservation beacon around the world.