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DoC Mismanagement Threatens Brown Teal

DoC Mismanagement Threatens Brown Teal

Thursday, October 11 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation

ACT Conservation Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff is urging the Government to call the Department of Conservation to account over its gross mismanagement of the endangered Brown Teal.

"Prior to the creation of DoC, private conservationists worked closely with the New Zealand Wildlife Service and there were many successful in-captivity breeding programmes.

"Since DoC has become involved it has limited the numbers of birds bred in captivity and the numbers of Brown Teal in the wild have declined from about 2500 ' to less than 1000. The birds exist in the wild only in Northland and Great Barrier Island.

"The expected extinction of the species in Northland is only three years away. The population on great barrier island is expected to be lost by 2015.

"As usual it is the predation of cats and ferrets that play a large part in the destruction. Clearly private landowners can assist the survival of the brown teal by using their resources and expertise to establish and release or indeed sell these ducks for private use.

"More private breeding in captivity can be utilised to boost numbers in the wild.

"However, DoC and its Minister Sandra Lee would seem to prefer the free-fall to extinction through public ownership than the embarrassing success of private conservation ' simply through fundamentalist ideology.

"This Government's policy is based around the ideology of public ownership through DoC instead of ensuring the survival of the species where all contribute.

"Yet again the Government's monopoly over wildlife threatens their very survival. Unless this Government undertakes a major u-turn now and actively encourages private conservation, then the Brown Teal ' and other endangered species will be seen only in history books and museums," Gerry Eckhoff said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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