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Fresh Ideas Needed In Conservation Battle

Fresh Ideas Needed In Conservation Battle

Tuesday 26 Oct 2004
Gerry Eckhoff
Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation

A shocking new report, showing that more than two-thirds of New Zealand's rare plants and wildlife are facing extinction, highlights the need for fresh ideas in the fight to protect our endangered native species, ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"DoC's latest annual report reveals that 77 percent of species, categorised as acutely or chronically threatened, are in decline and facing extinction. This figure includes such species as the North Island brown kiwi, the black stilt and the takahe," Mr Eckhoff said.

"What this report tells us is that DoC, despite its best efforts and hard work, can't be relied on to guarantee the survival of our native species. The time for fresh ideas - such as a trade in native wildlife - is now.

"This is exactly what I proposed three years ago, when I was met with howls of laughter and derision - especially by Labour and Green MPs. If we continue on the same course and ignore the reality of the situation, then some species will disappear for good.

"My suggestion is hardly radical: there's already a thriving trade in native plants, so why can't we apply the same principle for animals and birds? By thinking outside the square, we can ensure the survival of our treasured indigenous species.

"It's important to note that no animal bred in controlled circumstances, like sheep, has ever become extinct. By trading in native wildlife and allowing them to pay for themselves, we can protect them from sliding to extinction. It's their, and our, only chance," Mr Eckhoff said.

ENDS

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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