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On The Rise: Awareness Of Predator Free 2050 Movement Grows As Does Consensus Around A National Cat Act

A study commissioned by the Predator Free New Zealand Trust saw a statistically significant increase in awareness of the Predator free 2050 mission. More than 39% of New Zealanders are aware of the Predator Free 2050 mission, which has increased by four percentage points in just two years.

Additionally, there is now more willingness to participate in predator control or conservation-related activities, with 47% looking to plant natives (up from 32% in 2022) and 34% eager to trap introduced predators such as rats and stoats (up from 20% in 2022).

Awareness was higher in regions with comprehensive predator control projects. For example, awareness in the Wellington region grew to 53% from 38% in 2022, most likely due to the combination of Zealandia, Capital Kiwi, and Predator Free Wellington operating in the region.

When asked, Kiwis feel strongly that more investment and access to resources are needed, including stronger government funding and more affordable traps, bait and equipment to do the job.

Predator Free New Zealand Trust CE Jessi Morgan says, “What’s incredible to me is that this awareness has grown without major advertising campaigns. It feels like this movement is born out of a love of our taonga species—it’s truly grassroots.”

The study also looked at additional topics, including sentiment around the threat of domestic and feral cats. There is growing support for a National Cat Act, with 56% supporting the legislation of compulsory microchipping and 57% supporting compulsory desexing.

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Additionally, 64% believe we should actively reduce feral cat populations on public conservation land.

“It is clear that there is a significant increase in awareness of not just the importance of this work but also the challenges around it. To be predator free by 2050 is tangible, but requires proper investment and long-term support so we can continue to grow and care for te taiao; this is a nationwide effort and something that all Aotearoa can be proud of,” says Morgan.

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