Jun 28, 2023, 8:50am EDT

New Zealand moves to eradicate every single rat

A brown rat is show in Adana, Turkey.
Zeynel Cebeci/Wikimedia Commons

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The News

An organization in New Zealand wants to eliminate rats and other predators in the hopes of protecting the island’s rare species.

Predator Free Wellington is hoping to eradicate the invasive predators which threaten New Zealand’s unique wildlife. The country’s government believes it will be possible to eradicate all predators by 2050, the BBC reported.

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Know More

New Zealand has lost nearly a third of its native wildlife since humans settled on the island, according to the BBC. Predatory animals landed on the island with European settlers, and hunted species that did not have the ability to defend themselves.

Predator Free Wellington’s aim is to eradicate not only rats, but every “possum, stoat and weasel” from the Wellington area.

PFW has organized 58 volunteer-run trapping groups across the Miramar Peninsula where Wellington is located, and is working with community members to set up poison traps to kill predators.

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The View From Alberta

The Canadian province of Alberta is the only region in the world which has successfully eradicated rats from its borders. Alberta has been rat-free since 1950, and a government program ensures that the pest cannot establish itself inside the province’s borders.

The Alberta government established the program over fears that the rats would carry diseases or damage agricultural crops.

Alberta has established a “rat control zone” along its eastern border with Saskatchewan. The seven municipalities along the RCZ prevent rats from crossing into the province.