New Zealand leads world in island pest eradication, study finds

New Zealand’s unremitting war against pests has earned it the global top spot for island pest eradication but researchers warn the pace of eradication is slowing.

An international study, published in Scientific Reports, found New Zealand leads the world in creating island sanctuaries and is responsible for nearly a quarter of the world’s island pest eradications. Australia is the second most successful with just over 12% of global eradications.

“The reason New Zealand can lead the world is because we support [pest eradication] at all levels, from the grassroots to the government,” said Prof James Russell, a New Zealand co-author on the study from the University of Auckland.

The country has a well-established history of driving out pests from islands. The fruits of those efforts have been many – from thriving native bird populations, to creating eco-tourism destinations that further generate community interest in protecting species.

It has also committed to an ambitious…

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This article was written by Eva Corlett in Wellington and originally published on www.theguardian.com