PF2050 Research Strategy

Predator Free 2050 Ltd research strategy is designed to develop a science solution capable of eradicating at least one small mammalian predator from the mainland by 2025; an important milestone on the road to a predator free New Zealand.

A working group, coordinated by the Biological Heritage Challenge, pulled the strategy together and it has been independently peer-reviewed.

The strategy has four research goals:

  • Environment and society will explore social and cultural views about predator eradication, and confirm and expand our understanding of environmental and ecological consequences.
  • Eradicating the last 1% will see if advances with currently employed tools and approaches can make eradication at the landscape scale possible, initially for possums.
  • New genetic control tools will fill knowledge gaps to enable informed consideration.
  • Computer modelling underpins the strategy, and will develop shared tools that all communities and agencies contributing to Predator Free 2050 can use to design the right approach for their goals and environment.

The strategy is not set in stone, but will be modified according to research progress and developments in the wider science community.

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What is Predator Free 2050

Ed Chignell, Transforming Biodiversity Conference 2017

Predator Free 2050: The ambitious, long-term campaign to eradicate New Zealand of predators – initially possums, rats and stoats – by 2050.

These three introduced predators have been identified as key contributors to the decline of our natural heritage, with 3,000 of our native species classified as threatened or at risk and 800 classified as facing extinction.

The Crown has set interim goals for completion by 2025 as follows:

  • Increase by 1 million hectares the area of mainland New Zealand where predators are suppressed, through PF2050 projects.
  • Demonstrate that predator eradication can be achieved in areas of mainland New Zealand of at least 20,000 hectares without the use of fences.  
  • Achieve eradication of all mammalian predators from New Zealand’s island nature reserves.
  • Develop a breakthrough science solution capable of eradicating at least one small mammal predator from the New Zealand mainland.    

Predator Free 2050 Ltd is responsible for directing a significant amount of Crown investment into the Predator Free Programme, with a focus on breakthrough science and large-scale predator suppression and eradication initiatives.