Some things need killing. New Zealand gets it. From The Washington Post:
New Zealand is a nation that takes its birds seriously, and it’s got very special ones. The country’s currency is adorned with images of winged species found nowhere else, including the yellow-eyed penguin and the black-masked kokako. The logo of the national air force is stamped with the famed kiwi — a chicken-sized puff of feathers that cannot fly.
But many of those birds and other native wildlife are under assault from species that showed up with settlers to the island nation 200 years ago. And on Monday, Prime Minister John Key announced that, generations after they came, the invaders would have to go.
New Zealand, he said, has adopted the “ambitious goal” of eradicating its soil of rats, possums, stoats and all other invasive mammals by 2050. The name of the plan: Predator Free New Zealand.
“This is the most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world, but we believe if we all work together as a country we can achieve it,” Key said in a statement, adding that invasive predators have surpassed poaching and deforestation as the biggest threat to New Zealand’s wildlife. Key held a tuatara, a lizardlike native reptile, after announcing the plan, the Financial Times reported.
** Rats and Extinctions
** When Killing Rats Is Essential for Wildlife
** First We Kill All the Rats
** Poisoning Lord Howe Island
** Thinking About Species Loss
** Mass Hysteria Over Mass Extinction?
** Cats Causing Extinction