New Zealand is launching an ambitious $2.8 million plan to eradicate poachers on Rakiura Island. To protect the island’s ecosystems, possums, wild cats and hedgehogs must disappear.
Rakiura is located off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island and covers 180,000 hectares, with a permanent population of just 400 people, but the popular island is visited by around 45,000 tourists each year.
The island has national parks, important dunes and freshwater systems with unique ecosystems that are also home to many vulnerable native species including native birds, geckos and bats.
But various predators affected vulnerable fauna and flora, including the kiwi and the kakapo, the world’s heaviest and only walking parrot.
The $2.8 million project will not only eradicate predators, but also try to understand how the animals spread so easily and how to control them.