• Zero Invasive Predators Chief Executive to speak on eliminating the main agents of ecological decline

Zero Invasive Predators Chief Executive to speak on eliminating the main agents of ecological decline

An approach to eliminating the main agents of ecological decline in New Zealand will be the focus of an event organised by Biodiversity Hawke's Bay. 

Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) Chief Executive Al Bramley will be sharing his organisation's 'Remove and Protect' model whereby they aim to completely eliminate predators including rats, possums and stoats from large mainland areas, and then protect those areas from reinvasion, at the event tomorrow (June 1).

Mr Bramley says these three main introduced predators alone are estimated to kill 25 million native birds each year, cost the country billions of dollars annually, and impact our primary production base. "Many of the taonga species that remain are in trouble and declining, along with the integrity of those ecosystems that we all depend on for our wellbeing," he says.

The Remove and Protect approach, if successful, will make it possible to carry out predator control in terrain where it is neither desirable nor possible to construct predator fences, reduce our dependence on the repeated wide-scale application of toxins at chosen sites, enable progressive expansion of a protected area as funds and confidence allow, and create an environment on the mainland where, in time, ecological integrity could rival that of predator-free offshore islands. 

Mr Bramley will share the successes ZIP have had to date and their involvement in the Predator Free South Westland project - where the goal is to completely eliminate predators from a 100,000-ha area of diverse landscapes including conservation land, private farmland, and small settlements.

Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay general manager Debbie Monahan said New Zealand leads the way in removing invasive predators from islands and predator fenced areas, but mainland predator elimination needs to be approached differently, particularly if we want to protect these areas from reinvasion.

“I would like to encourage anyone who has an interest in protecting and enhancing biodiversity to come along and listen to the inspiring work being undertaken by Al and his focussed team.”

The event, sponsored by ZIP, EIT and Better Nature Ecological Services, formally Central Districts Pest Control, is being held at EIT at 6pm tomorrow (June 1) and is open to the public, although registrations are essential as numbers are limited. Visit www.biodiversityhb.org to register.