The Manaaki Whenua Conservation Research Institute has signed a $2.8 million (HUF 1.12 billion HUF) cooperation agreement with Stewart Island—or Rakiura in Maori—the animal protection organization Predator Free Rakiura, to exterminate opossums and rats over a period of four years. And feral cats and hedgehogs – reported the online version of The Sentinel.
The project also includes a research program to study pest populations to understand how to control them more effectively.
Located near the South Island, Rakiura covers nearly 180,000 hectares, has nearly four hundred permanent residents, and is visited by approximately 45,000 tourists annually.
National parks, distinctive wildlife, dunes, and pristine freshwater ecosystems make the island valuable, and it’s also home to many endangered native species, including birds, geckos, and bats.
The entry of pests has dealt a major blow to sensitive plants and animals, including the flightless kiwi, which has become a national symbol, or the night parrot, the world’s heaviest and flightless parrot.
Rakura is currently in a buri or melancholy state. The visitor may see the beautiful treasures on the surface, but the true power (mana) and essence (mori) of the island will be known when as many indigenous species inhabit the island as it was in the time of our ancestors.
– said Dean Wangham, head of the Predator Control Organization.
“What we are learning here will help plunder the entire country,” the Manaki Wainwa Research Institute wrote in a statement.
Similar looting was carried out all over the world, including on the island of South Georgia in the Atlantic Ocean, where the extermination of rats covered about 350 thousand hectares, but only 20-30 people lived in it. Although the rakura is smaller, its population is much larger, so this would be the largest extermination of predators in the world in a populated area, said Chris Jones, an employee of the research institute.
cover photo: illustration ; The introduction of pests has dealt a major blow to sensitive plants and animals. (Shutterstock)
“Writer. Twitter specialist. Passionate social media ninja. Lifelong beer buff. Bacon fanatic. Wannabe web scholar. Devoted coffee maven.”