New Zealand aims to eradicate invasive predators, but winning public support may be big challenge

A year ago, the national government here announced a bold plan to rid the country of a trio of invasive predators that threatens native birds. Experts say the task will require new technologies—such as deadlier toxins and possibly even the release of genetically modified organisms—that have yet to be invented. But winning public support for using these new methods could be an even bigger task, scientists say.

Moving any new control measures from the lab to the landscape will be “as much of a social challenge as it is a biological challenge,” says conservation biologist James Russell of the University of Auckland in New Zealand.  Click on the following sentence to access the full story.

With that in mind, scientists are eyeing a social experiment to rival the biological one: finding ways to include the public early and often in discussing predator control plans, and allowing people to have a say in which methods are deployed.

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