Restoring nature and sustaining community - from the mountains to the sea
  • Predator Free South Westland
    Kōtuku, Ōkārito Lagoon
  • Predator Free South Westland
    The view across Ōkārito Lagoon to Kā Tiritiri o te Moana – the Southern Alps
  • Predator Free South Westland
    Whataroa farmland meets Kā Tirititiri o te Moana – the Southern Alps
  • Predator Free South Westland
    Field rangers deploy innovative remote-reporting traps in farm paddocks
  • Predator Free South Westland
    A predator detection dog searches for rats in the South Westland bush
An ambitious five-year project to eliminate possums, rats and stoats from 100,000 hectares of land between the Whataroa and Waiau (Waiho) Rivers, the crest of the Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, and the shores of the Tasman Sea / Te Tai-o-Rēhua.

Over the next five years, Predator Free South Westland will work with the community to remove predators from the back country, rural areas and townships of South Westland.

The project will create employment opportunities, remove the risk of TB for farmers, and increase birdlife in one of Aotearoa’s most stunning landscapes.

Predator Free South Westland will build on the success of Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP), which has recently eliminated predators from 12,000 hectares in the Perth River valley using “boots on the ground” labour, along with innovative trapping, baiting and detection techniques.

The mountains, rivers and lakes that surround the project area will then be used to help protect the area against predator reinvasion.

2021

Establish a project team

Eliminate predators from the Butler Range

Reduce possums and rats to very low numbers around South Ōkārito

2022

Eliminate predators from South Ōkārito forest

Reduce possums and rats to very low numbers in North Ōkārito and Whataroa farmland

2023

Build the workforce to up to 50 people

Eliminate predators from North Ōkārito and Whataroa farmland

2024–2026

Deliver predator freedom across 100,000 hectares

Eliminate predators from the back-country, between the Whataroa and Waiau Rivers

Beyond 2026

Protect
and
restore

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If you’d like to know more, share your thoughts, talk about employment opportunities, or otherwise be involved, please email us at: info@predatorfreesouthwestland.nz