New Zealand

New Zealand has been the world leader in the eradication of invasive mammalian predators from offshore islands. Today, the focus for invasive predator management is shifting to larger landscapes; big inhabited islands or the mainland itself. The most cost-effective approach in the long term will be to eradicate the predators from those areas, ensuring permanent freedom for vulnerable and threatened native biodiversity to recover or be reintroduced. Island eradication technologies cannot always be employed on the mainland (e.g. aerial brodifacoum), so a new approach is required.

During the 45 years that the Raoul Island weed eradication programme has been underway, eleven species have been eradicated. To complete the restoration of Raoul Island’s unique ecosystems supporting signi?cant seabird biodiversity and endemic biota, nine further transformer weeds must be eradicated. In this review of progress to date, we examine the feasibility of eradication of these transformers and identify that four species are on target for eradication: African olive (Olea europaea subsp.

Since 1987, I have assisted the Cook Islands Conservation/Environment Service and, more recently, the Takitumu Conservation Area Project and the Avifauna Conservation Programme of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to plan and implement a recovery programme for the kakerori, a critically endangered forest bird endemic to Rarotonga. In 1989, the kakerori was one of the 10 rarest birds in the world, and classified as 'critically endangered' (Collar et al. 1994) with a population of just 29 birds. I calculated

In winter 2016, the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) eradicated mice (Mus musculus) from the Antipodes Islands located at 49°S 178°E, 760 km south-east of New Zealand’s South Island. Mice were the only mammalian pest species present. They have extensively impacted the abundance and survival of invertebrates, with likely secondary impacts on endemic terrestrial birds and nesting seabird fauna. Public-private partnerships with DOC instigated the project and provided essential financial support.

Following the incursion of rats (Rattus rattus) on Taukihepa (Big South Cape Island; 93.9 km²) off southern New Zealand in 1963, and the subsequent extirpation of several endemic species, the New Zealand Wildlife Service realised that, contrary to general belief at the time, introduced predators do not reach a natural balance with native species and that a safe breeding habitat for an increasing number of ‘at risk’ species was urgently needed.

The impacts of house mice (Mus musculus), one of four invasive rodent species in New Zealand, are only clearly revealed on islands and fenced sanctuaries without rats and other invasive predators which suppress mouse populations, influence their behaviour, and confound their impacts. When the sole invasive mammal on islands, mice can reach high densities and influence ecosystems in similar ways to rats.

In the May 1999 budget, the New Zealand Government announced that an extra $6.6 million over five years would be given to the Department of Conservation to fund an integrated stoat control research programme.

Although Talon® baits containing brodifacoum have been used successfully in eradicating rats from some of New Zealand’s offshore islands, little is known about any environmental effects of this toxin. We sampled invertebrates, blackbirds, soil, and water at intervals of 2 days to 9 months to determine whether brodifacoum residues were present after aerial distribution of Talon® 20P cereal pellets on Red Mercury Island and after bait-station use of Talon® 50WB wax-coated cereal blocks on Coppermine Island.