Predator Free New Zealand 2050 – Lens-Artists Challenge #83 – Future

The future depends on what you do today.
― Mahatma Gandhi

‘Aotearoa (New Zealand) is home to many unique and ancient species of birds, frogs, lizards and plants. Our biodiversity is so distinct because we have been geologically isolated for 85 million years, since splitting from the supercontinent of Gondwana.’

IMG_4174
A cheeky weka eyes up our Girl Guide buscuits on a visit to Kapiti Island. Weka are flightless, ground nesting birds that won’t hesitate to enter your house, invited or not.

‘Many of our species are found nowhere else on Earth and this isolation also makes them vulnerable to introduced predators such as rats, stoats, cats and possums.’

IMG_3982
Karearea, the NZ falcon can fly 100 kph and catch prey larger than itself. It also nests on the ground. Before the introduction of mammalian predators, it was safe to do so.

‘Making NZ predator free by 2050 will allow our native wildlife to flourish once more.’

IMG_3606
There are more than 70 species of weta in NZ, 16 of which are at risk of extinction. They have been around long enough to see the dinosaurs come and go.

‘This aspirational vision focuses on the complete removal of rats, stoats, and possums. Though other introduced predators also have an impact on our native flora and fauna, these three have been identified as the most damaging introduced mammalian predators to our natural taonga (treasures).’

IMG_3608
New Zealand bush giant dragonfly, Kapokapowa grows up to 86 mm (3 1/2 in) long with a         130 mm (5 in) wingspan. It makes a sizable meal for a rat.

‘Innovative traps, irresistible baits, new techniques for eradicating rodents from islands and for keeping mainland sanctuaries predator-free – New Zealand’s scientific community are leading the way in these fields and more.’

IMG_1567
The AT220 is a self resetting kill trap that only requires checking every 6 months. It’s a humane and labour saving way to remove possums and feral cats.

‘The Predator Free movement is sweeping the country as people realise we’re the last generation that can save our unique native bird, bat and insect species before they’re devastated by introduced predators.’

IMG_9697
The little tomtit, miromiro loves a cat free yard. He spends a lot of time looking for food on the ground.

‘By working together we can all play a part in slowing down the impact of introduced predators on our native species. Join the movement to protect New Zealand’s unique environment for generations to come.’

Text, other than the photograph captions, is from the Predator Free website.

Thanks to Ann-Christine for setting the challenge this week and giving me the opportunity to tell you about the vision for the future of New Zealand’s natural environment.

18 comments

  1. Oh no, my text went away…This is a very informative and interesting post on the future, Wendy. A reminder of our own species’ ignorance and foolishness. Well photographed and all and your words bite. I must admit I didn’t know you had stoats as well. We saw quite some possums on the roads, but also understood you can use their skin/fur. Do you use the stoat skins as well? When we visited Waipoua Forest and the Kauri trees, it really got me how sensitive species you have there. They have developed over so long a time, and will not survive our intruding. We had to rinse our shoes before and after, and we even had to show all our shoes on the airport when we arrived.
    You are doing a fantastic job, and I am so glad my daughter volunteered there. She will never forget.
    Let’s hope your goal will be reached in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ann-Christine. NZ has only had human inhabitants for 800 years and much of the damage we have done is irreversible. Hopefully we won’t do any more.
      Possum fur mixed with merino wool is wonderful, warmer than wool alone and softer than cashmere. Unfortunately, of the number of possums roaming free in our bush, only a few are trapped for fur. Stoats are intelligent creatures and are so hard to catch. I don’t think they’re farmed here anymore. When the fur trade died, some stoat farmers just opened their cages and let them go. They’ve been devastating to our birds who for millions of years existed without fear of predators other than birds of prey.
      I am grateful to your daughter for joining us in the fight to protect what we have left.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Tina. I don’t know much about our frogs, they’re tiny and rare and all 4 species are endangered, 1 critically that only survives on 1 pest free island. I guess awareness of the plight of our species helps but the less sexy critters like insects and frogs are a hard sell for most folk.

      Like

    • Aw, thank you Sue.
      It gives us hope, doesn’t it. In saying that, I’ve just seen a stoat chasing something on our front lawn. We’ve got traps and bait stations all around us and they still get through, sodding things.
      You have a good week too. Hope L’s foot is better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post, Wendy. What an inspiring goal. Good luck! Most of the predator damage is hard for a visitor to see since you can’t see what is missing, but even I could see the devastation to the vegetation by the possums when I was there. What a worthy goal and appropriate post. Thanks for sharing your insights into New Zealand’s conservation work.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s