The government New Zealand has declared war countryside pests. It wants to make the country predator-free 2050. It has set an ambitious target to eradicate all non-native species the country over the 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 our native birds every year, and prey other native species such lizards. Along the rest our environment, we must do more to protect them." His government has awarded $28 million a company that will help implement his plans.
Mr Key told reporters: "This is the most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere the world, but we believe if we all work together a country, we can achieve it." It will take the combined efforts the private and public sectors as well as community groups. Few people New Zealand want more the country's native birds to become extinct. Since European settlers arrived the mid-nineteenth century and brought them rats and other predators, New Zealand has lost a huge variety birds. These include the bush wren, the laughing owl and the mysterious starling. The country's national bird, the kiwi, is currently threat. Only five per cent kiwi chicks survive adulthood.