New Zealand has declared war on pests. Its ambitious target is to remove all non-native species from the country by 2050. Prime Minister John Key says new strategies will kill introduced species, especially predators. He said: "Rats, possums and stoats kill 25 million of our native birds every year, and prey on other native species such as lizards….We must do more to protect them." His government has given $28 million towards the project.
Mr Key said: "This is the most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world, but…we can achieve it." Government, businesses and community groups will work together. People do not want more native birds to become extinct. Rats and other predators that arrived 300 years ago have killed many different birds. The country's national bird, the kiwi, is now under threat. Only five per cent of kiwi chicks live to be adults.