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Greens support snails' rescue

27 February 2006

Greens support snails' rescue

The Green Party is pleased that Conservation Minister Chris Carter is taking seriously the threat to endangered indigenous snails at Stockton Mine, says Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei.

"We support efforts to shift two powelliphanta augustus snails at the southern end of Stockton Mine to safety within the main population further along the ridge provided there is some certainty the snails will survive such relocation," she says.

"However this is an emergency situation and should not be viewed as a precedent for shifting the whole population, as requested by Solid Energy." The Greens understand that Mr Carter is talking about only two snails at the southern end of a ridge which are endangered by current mining activity such as blasting.

"If more snails were found in that area we would expect mining to cease pending a thorough re-survey," Mrs Turei says. "Also, we expect Mr Carter will seriously consider advice from scientists and conservationists who are worried about the risks involved in shifting larger percentages of snail populations. The rescue of these two snails is a different issue from Solid Energy's request to shift the entire population of powelliphanta augustus snails."

There should be no new mines in other environmentally sensitive areas of the West Coast, especially where endangered species are threatened with extinction, Mrs Turei says.

"We repeat our concern about continued reliance on fossil fuels in the face of overwhelming evidence that dangerous climate disruption is taking place.

"Shifting endangered wildlife should be an action of absolutely last-resort. Mr Carter should refuse to allow any action by Solid Energy that will further threaten the survival of the remaining population of these rare creatures," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS


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