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Predator Free 2050 - Hawke's Bay

pfhb logo4What is Predator Free Hawke’s Bay?

Hawke’s Bay is the latest region to get behind the country’s goal to become Predator-Free by 2050. The first phase of the $4.86 million project will focus on removing possums from 14,500 hectares of land on Mahia Peninsula within four years, as an initial step towards ridding the region of predators. The knowledge gained in Mahia will be used to develop a low-cost farmland control and eradication model applicable to other areas of the region and New Zealand.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is investing $1.17 million in the project and Chairman Rex Graham says eradicating possums from Hawke’s Bay is both ambitious and realistic.

The Predator Free Hawke’s Bay Project builds on the success of the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne and Cape to City ecological restoration projects, enabling scaling up across 700,000 ha of the Hawke’s Bay region. Poutiri Ao ō Tāne and Cape to City have been tackling predator control and restoring plants and wildlife across Hawke’s Bay since 2011 and 2015 respectively.

The new funding builds on these two existing projects, enabling an expansion of effort to the Mahia Peninsula. The focus is on a possum-free Mahia, with simultaneous control of feral cats and mustelids, low cost farmland suppression, incorporating the use of wireless trap technology, and learning to enable a pathway to eradication

Find out more about the project in our video below.

What funding is available for Predator Free Hawke’s Bay and who is involved?

The project has a $4.86m total project cost with $1.62m Predator Free 2050 Ltd investment over four years. Other contributors are Hawke’s Bay Regional Council ($1.17m), Aotearoa Foundation ($830k),Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research) ($600k), DOC ($400k), OMV NZ Ltd ($150k), Maungaharuru Tangitū ($60k), ZIP ($30k) and farmers ($120k)

The project is integrated with Regional Pest Management Plan, builds on strong community partnerships and anticipates future council commitments.

The key elements of the Predator Free Hawke’s Bay project are:

  • Simultaneous possum eradication and feral cat/mustelid predator suppression on Mahia Peninsula using wireless live capture leg hold trap monitoring. This will deliver possum eradication on Mahia and aim to reduce the costs of initial farmland predator control by a target of up to 50%
  • This will also free up existing resources allocated to possum control to help fund future predator eradication.
  • A large-scale Para-Aminopropiophenone (PAPP) trial for mustelids and feral cats to test the cost effectiveness of this toxin on a large scale in a farmland context. If successful this may further reduce the cost of farmland predator initial knockdown
  • The installation of a significant amount of farmland wireless trap monitoring to test the value and application of wireless in enabling farmer participation in landscape scale predator control and reducing the ongoing costs of farmland predator control suppression until eradication is possible.
  • Rat control for fragmented bush areas within the project area to deliver additional biodiversity and conservation benefits. The intention will be to take the latest thinking from the ZIP team to guide how to optimise farmland rat control.

What does the Predator Free Hawke’s Bay project aim to achieve?

The project is the first phase in achieving a Predator Free Hawke’s Bay. The knowledge gained in Mahia will rolled out across Hawke’s Bay and wider New Zealand.

Poutiri Ao ō Tāne Project

Poutiri Ao ō Tāne is an existing large-scale ecological restoration project, which has been running for four years. This project (8,800ha) covers a variety of land-uses and is located on the Maungaharuru Range, with Boundary Stream Mainland Island at its heart. The vision: Kia Haruru a Maungaharuru, Kia ukiuki a Tangitu, Whakari ora a Papatuanuku. From Maunga to Moana flourishes an environment for future Generations to enjoy. Find out more Poutiri Ao ō Tāne  here.

Cape to City Project

Cape to City started in 2015 and covers 26,000 ha that lies between Hastings and Cape Kidnappers, and extends southwards to include Waimarama and forest remnants at Kahuranaki. The vision: The Cape to City vision is: Native species thrive where we live, work and play. Find out more about Cape to City here.

More info

Talking Point - Hawke's Bay Today - 'Push for Predator-free Hawke's Bay

HBRC Media Release - 3 July 2018

PFHB Timeline poster 280618

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