Introduced predators are weakening our nature haven. Three species of rats, feral cats, possums and hedgehogs are major threats to our native plants and animals. A predator-free Rakiura / Stewart Island would remove these predators, helping the recovery of our forests and wetlands.
Together we are restoring our natural haven - Rakiura, mauri ora
Community, visitors and wildlife are intertwined on Rakiura with Stewart Island kiwi / Rakiura tokoeka, kākā, penguins, parakeet / kākāriki and pigeon / kereru in Halfmoon Bay township, a National Park surrounded by a pristine coastline and over 90 islands, full of wildlife, that deserve to be protected.
Rakiura is home to around 380 residents and welcomes over 45,000 visitors each year.
Māori have a holistic view of biodiversity and believe that all living and non-living things are linked and possess the spiritual qualities of tapu, mauri, mana, and wairua. Therefore, as tangata whenua, Māori are the kaitiaki or guardians of our precious ecosystems and the mana of the tangata whenua is directly related to the wellbeing of the ecosystem within their rohe or region. Valuing this perspective is essential to creating a bicultural approach to biodiversity management on Rakiura.
Papatūānuku (Earth mother), Ranginui (sky father) and their offspring are in serious trouble, and we urgently need to do a better job of looking after them. The state of nature is a legacy we leave for future generations.
Without pigs, rabbits, stoats, goats and ferrets, we are perfectly placed to make a real impact if the remaining predators are removed. Many people on and around Rakiura are doing their bit to control predators and keep their homes, vehicles and vessels rat-free.
An incredible amount of work towards a predator-free Rakiura has already been achieved by iwi, the community and various organisations.
Rakiura is a nature hotspot and home to many species either threatened or found nowhere else. Let us protect our forests and wildlife and help restore the mauri of the island. Find out what eradication means.
Much of Rakiura's unique habitat and wildlife remains undeveloped, and with many predators already absent, protection is not only possible, it can be done at a scale for an inhabited island that has not been done before. Let’s bring home the kākāpō!
We want a healthy Rakiura for our visitors and families forever. We also want sustained and meaningful employment for our community, and to maintain our unique lifestyle within stunning natural landscapes.
The scale and complexity of this project means we would learn new techniques and innovations that could be applied not only in New Zealand towards Predator Free New Zealand but also for restoration projects around the world.
We asked students at Rakiura’s Halfmoon Bay School to share their ideas of what 2050 might be like if predators are removed from Rakiura.
This project centres on the eradication of predators from Rakiura – not the control of predator numbers. Even though both sometimes use the same tools, eradication permanently removes all identified pest species with ongoing surveillance and management of reinvasion risks.
Without eradication many of the taonga native species, flora and fauna that remain on the Island will face a biodiversity crisis. Major declines in indigenous species will continue until they only exist on offshore islands or at sites with ongoing intensive pest control.
With eradication not only will these declines be reversed, but other species could move back home to Rakiura, helping to secure them from extinction. It’s not possible to achieve this across the whole of the Island by only using ‘control’ techniques.
The eradication process is a long game. A predator eradication project of this complexity, on an inhabited island of this scale, has never been attempted before. So far, the largest eradication project carried out has been on an area measuring 12,000 hectares – but this will shift to 160,000 hectares if Predator Free Rakiura is successful. All the work we have done to date has essentially been a desktop exercise, so testing the ideas in the field with the community will be an important step of the process.
Modern predator eradication and control tools are constantly evolving. Check out the new technology and methods being trialled and developed here.
Take a look at some examples of local and global island eradication projects here.