Predator Free Whangārei is a collaborative project which aims to eliminate introduced predators in the Whangārei area and builds on decades of dedicated and successful community predator control. It is one of the many large landscape-scale projects across New Zealand that is working towards making our country free of possums, rats, and mustelids, so that our taonga species can thrive again.
The seed for this project was planted over two years ago, with a conversation between local community groups and agencies working together on predator control. After initial conversations with Predator Free 2050 Limited (PF2050 Ltd) in 2018 and many months of discussion and development, a funding application was submitted by Northland Regional Council on behalf of the community to PF2050 Ltd last year for the Whangārei area.
The application was made possible by the hundreds of community volunteers that contribute towards predator control in the Whangārei district and was supported by Northland Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Whangarei District Council, Kiwi Coast and other community groups.
In working towards creating one of New Zealand’s first mainland possum-free zones, Predator Free Whangarei aims to:
- Eradicate possums from over 9,000 hectares of the Whangārei Heads peninsula by 2025 and intensively control possums over 20,000 ha in an adjacent buffer zone
- Suppress rats in in the urban Whangārei area and increase community engagement
- Suppress mustelids over 60,000 ha of the wider Whangārei District.
For this project to succeed, it will need the support of and work collaboratively with many – landowners, iwi/hapū, landcare groups, conservation groups, communities, schools, whānau, businesses, and more.
This project is about imagining what is possible for our flora and fauna when the devastating effects of possums, mustelids, and rats are removed. It is an opportunity to engage the wider Whangārei community in predator control efforts and provide invaluable employment and education opportunities. It will also be a chance to provide an opportunity to test and develop leading edge innovation for predator control.
To learn more about the project, read the FAQs, and stay up to date, check out their website: www.predatorfreewhangarei.nz
Video - "Towards a Predator Free New Zealand"
Watch the "Towards a Predator Free New Zealand" video below, from the Department of Conversation's YouTube channel.