A call to make New Zealand Predator Free by 2050 is an ambitious aspiration that is a complex problem with many hidden traps for the unwary. Forewarned is forearmed.
To help conserve our unique biodiversity, the New Zealand government has taken an explicit stand against predators with the Predator Free 2050 initiative. This was announced in 2016 and is structured as a government and community partnership to advance predator control to the landscape level and eradicate predators from the country within the 34 years to 2050.
This lofty ambition has caught many people's imagination and has galvanised action across the nation in towns and cities, in the countryside and in the wilderness. However, despite the clamour for results it is worth pausing a moment to consider and better understand what this catch cry actually means. The ‘why' is pretty obvious - predators kill our native wildlife - but the ‘what’ and ‘how’ are less clear.
What's in a Name?
The familiar saying "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" warns about the risks that come with trying to achieve more by challenging the status quo.