Predator Free 2050 vision supported by DOC-Kiwibank partnership

  • Maggie Barry
Conservation

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed a new partnership between DOC and Kiwibank which will contribute towards New Zealand’s goal of becoming predator free by 2050.

The partnership announced today focuses on DOC’s conservation dog programme and the remarkable canines using their unique noses to tackle predators and help our native species.

“Specially-trained dogs are truly one of conservation’s best friends, and they will play a crucial role in our plans to make New Zealand predator free by 2050,” Ms Barry says.

“My own North Shore electorate often sees the popular Pai and Piri, two terriers who are excellent ratters, working at our ferry terminals.

“Trained and skilled dogs protect predator-free offshore islands from reinvasion, while others help rangers find elusive native species like the kiwi and detect diseases such as kauri dieback.”

The new partnership will enable DOC to launch a pilot programme adding full time specialist conservation dog handlers to support its team of 67 part-time dog-handlers and 83 dogs.

This will increase island biosecurity protection and provide a faster response to pest incursions; contributing to ridding New Zealand of introduced predators such as possums, rats and stoats.

Kiwibank will also make a valuable contribution to the Predator Free New Zealand Trust, which will be supporting community pest control and eradication efforts.

“We all need to pitch in if we’re to make this country predator free and everyone can help by starting predator control projects in their own neighbourhoods,” Ms Barry says.

“Kiwibank’s support for the predator free vision is commendable and I look forward to seeing what the partnership can achieve in the coming years.”

For more about DOC’s conservation dogs see www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/conservation-dog-programme/

An interview with DOC dog handler Fin Buchanan and pest detection dog Pai can be accessed HERE