Human-introduced species that threaten native fauna have been targeted in the world’s largest action involving a populated area.
The Manaaki Whenua Nature Conservation Research Institute has signed a $2.8 million (HUF 1.12 billion) cooperation agreement with the Stewart Island — or rakiura in Māori — animal protection organization, Predator Free Rakiura, to exterminate opossums and rats over four years. and feral cats and hedgehogs, MTI writes. The project also includes research programs in which pest breeding is investigated in order to find out how they can be kept under control in the most effective way.
Rakiura is located near the South Island and covers nearly 180,000 hectares. Non-native predators have dealt a huge blow to delicate flora and fauna. These are species such as the flightless kiwi, which has become a national symbol, or the nocturnal kakapo, the heaviest flightless parrot in the world.
What we learn here will help eradicate predators from the entire country
– wrote the Manaki Research Institute when they said in its statement.
Chris JonesSimilar measures have already been carried out around the world, including the island of South Georgia in the Atlantic Ocean, said an employee of the research institute, where the extermination of rats covered about 350,000 hectares. Although the rakiura is smaller, its population is much larger, making it the world’s largest exterminating predator in a populated area.
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