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Conservation Priorities Need Overhaul

Media Release
15 January 2004

Conservation Priorities Need Overhaul

New Zealand First Conservation spokesperson, Edwin Perry, has repeated his call for the Department of Conservation to re-examine its priorities following today’s reported comments by DoC’s West Coast conservator.

The conservator was replying to criticism about the department’s pest control measures and commending the work of his staff in increasing the kiwi population at Okarito by 43 birds since 1998.

“This is an understandable reaction and it goes without saying that DoC staff are committed and doing their best but at the same time there is no point in shooting the messenger,” said Mr Perry.

“The facts remain that nationwide the kiwi is under threat and has been for some time and the $3 million a year spent on kiwi recovery work is manifestly inadequate. Future funding levels have not been determined and are awaiting the results from the kiwi sanctuaries on the best pest control regimes.

“The effectiveness of the sanctuaries is not due for review until 2005 and the findings of any such review may take time to be implemented. In the interim pest control programmes are having varying degrees of success.

“The end result of all this procrastination is that every week more birds die and our chances of saving the rest diminish. Providing more resources to the kiwi recovery programme and an immediate review of the success of the sanctuaries is called for and preferably as soon as possible,” said Mr Perry.


ENDS

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