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