Stewart Island children competing to catch the most rats

Source: 1News

Rakiura Stewart Island's children are in the midst of a competition to kill as many rats as possible, with prizes awarded for the most rats caught, the longest rat caught, and more.

Halfmoon Bay School, the island's only school, is at the centre of the "fierce competition".

Emma Jenkinson, a competition judge, told Seven Sharp that if you asked the students how many rats they've caught, "they're adamant they're not gonna tell us until data logging day because they don't want to give it away. It's secretive."

"Our kids are really keen trappers... Our kids are a little bit different down here".

The event is part of the world's most ambitious pest eradication programme in the world.

Predator Free Rakiura aims to purge Stewart Island's entire 180,000 hectares of any pests in order to protect the island's biodiversity - including a population of 20,000 kiwi.

Jenkinson said that, of the competition's categories, the longest rat was the most popular.

"They can't wait to tell you how big these rats are."

The local Environment Trust provided the children with their traps, made out of old political billboards.