Parasite-Free Rakiura Research Lens

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Funding of roles:

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and Predator Free Rakiura have partnered to study the control of the largest pest eradication program in the world.

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and Predator Free Rakiura have partnered to study the control of the largest pest eradication program in the world.

The four-year, $2.8 million research partnership will examine ways to rid 180,000-hectare Rakiura/Stewart Island of opossums, rats, feral cats and hedgehogs.

Predator Free Rakiura project director Campbell Leckie said the agreement will enable a significant number of individual research projects each year, exploring the behavior, distribution and density of predators, as well as the social and economic impacts of a project of this size and complexity.

Forest & Bird spokesman Dean Baigent-Mercer said some forests in Rakiura are already collapsing, with tōtara being eaten to death by opossums.

He says that Predator Free Rakiura would be a great asset for nature tourism and the local economy, and for the expression of mātauranga Māori.


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