There Will Be Blood

Here, ratty ratty. To save the kiwi, New Zealanders are on a crusade against invasive mammals.

December 15, 2014

"I’d come to watch the Adsheads poke at decaying stoats because they are nature lovers. So are most New Zealanders. Indeed, on a per-capita basis, New Zealand may be the most nature-loving nation on the planet. With a population of just four and a half million, the country has some four thousand conservation groups. But theirs is, to borrow E. O. Wilson’s term, a bloody, bloody biophilia. The sort of amateur naturalist who in Oregon or Oklahoma might track butterflies or band birds will, in Otorohanga, poison possums and crush the heads of hedgehogs. As the coördinator of one volunteer group put it to me, 'We always say that, for us, conservation is all about killing things.'"

—From “The Big Kill,” Elizabeth Kolbert’s New Yorker story about New Zealand’s quest to bump off mammals in order to conserve the country’s native fauna


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