Eradicating Invasive Predators in New Zealand

Here is the Web site for Predator Free 2050 Ltd. The New Zealand government has set a goal of eradicating the three most dangerous invasive species: rats, stoats, and possums, by 2050. (A stoat is a mustelid—a kind of weasel, which was introduced in New Zealand near the end of the 19th century in an attempt to control rabbits, without apparently asking, “What will control the stoats?”)

Prior to human settlement, the only land mammals in New Zealand were bats.


Awwww…I don’t know, I just watched a video of two baby stoats, they are adorable!
This reminds me of the way people with bird feeders feel about squirrels.
How long does it take for any invasive species, animal, vegetable or human, to be considered native? Why am I whose great great grandfather lurched off the boat over two centuries ago, not a “Native American”?
(I mean I get it of course, it would be a shame if all those wingless New Zealand birds were killed off.)


The politically correct term nowadays is “introduced species”.

Humans have this incipient characteristic that in other species is called “eusociality” which includes such charming characteristics as mass warfare. Fire ants may illustrate just how “invasive” some eusocial species can become. In “The Social Conquest of Earth” E. O. Wilson, who coined the term “biodiversity” makes the case that eusociality tends toward ecological dominance wherever it manages to evolve. He doesn’t like space settlement as a way of redirecting this eusocial tendency into turning lifeless environments into carrying capacity for life and has as his article of confessed faith that humans can and will be able to restrain themselves in the biosphere. But I’ve discussed this before here.

As for mass violence – it sucks but not as hard as war conducted by other means.


…”We may doubt the just proportion of good to ill.
There is much in nature against us. But we forget;
Take nature altogether since time began,
Including human nature, in peace and war,
And it must be a little more in favor of man,
Say a fraction of one percent at the very least,
Or our number living wouldn’t be steadily more,
Our hold on the planet wouldn’t have so increased.”,

—Robert Frost, from “Our Hold on the Planet”