July 07, 2022
Campbell Leckie – Rakiura pest cull
One of the people behind a plan to eradicate all possums, rats, feral cats and other predators from Rakiura/Stewart Island says gaining the support of islanders, iwi and other stakeholders will be critical for its success.
Campbell Leckie from Predator Free Rakiura, which has partnered with Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research to look at how the plan can be realised, says introduced pests have plunged New Zealand’s third-largest island into a state of pouri or sadness.
He says the initial four-year research project will look at what methods and technologies could be used for such an ambitious plan.
“I’ll be spending quite a bit of time out on the island and it’s really about meeting people, starting to understand what they think about the project, what their interests are, what their concerns are, so it’s strengthening the funding picture but the other critical part is basically people,’ he says.
Campbell Leckie says what is learned on Rakiura could be applied to other large-scale efforts to clear predators from mainland New Zealand.