government of New Zealand has declared war on countryside pests. It wants to make country predator-free by 2050. It has set ambitious target to eradicate all non-native species from country over next three decades. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key says he intends to introduce strategies to cull introduced species, especially predators that threaten New Zealand's native birds. He said: "Rats, possums and stoats kill 25 million of our native birds every year, and prey on other native species such as lizards. Along with rest of our environment, we must do more to protect them." His government has awarded $28 million to company that will help implement his plans.
Mr Key told reporters: "This is most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in world, but we believe if we all work together as country, we can achieve it." It will take combined efforts of private and public sectors as well as community groups. Few people in New Zealand want more of country's native birds to become extinct. Since European settlers arrived in mid-nineteenth century and brought with them rats and other predators, New Zealand has lost huge variety of birds. These include bush wren, laughing owl and mysterious starling. country's national bird, kiwi, is currently under threat. Only five per cent of kiwi chicks survive to adulthood.