A new strategy has been designed that aims to eradicate at least one small mammal predator from New Zealand by 2025.
The Predator Free 2050 Ltd research strategy has been constructed by New Zealand's Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, established to tackle the biggest threats to the country's environment.
Small mammal predators like stoats and rats pose one of the largest threats to biodiversity.
Four research programmes will investigate how to achieve more effective predator eradication, including "environment and society", which will explore social and cultural views about predator eradication, and "computer modelling", which will develop tools to design the right approach to target predators in different environments.
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The strategy also includes "new genetic control tools", a programme that will look at tools like "gene-drive" - a technique used to spread a certain trait across a population, such as rats.
New Zealand's Biological Heritage said it had advocated for a "cautious and responsible approach to new technologies".
"We are also working closely with international colleagues on exploratory research on gene editing technologies."
The organisation is working alongside Predator-Free 2050, Genomics Aotearoa, and the Department of Conservation to co-ordinate and align New Zealand's research efforts.
"Ultimately, it will be up to the public of New Zealand to decide what technologies are acceptable, balanced against the need to secure a future for threatened and endangered biodiversity."
The National government announced in July 2016 it had adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming predator free by 2050.
Pests threatened New Zealand's economy and primary sector, with their total economic cost estimated at about $3.3 billion a year.