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Govt careless and callous about threatened birds

16 April 2014

Govt careless and callous about threatened birds

The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world’s most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.

Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most evolutionary distinct birds under threat from extinction. The birds on this list are of special conservation concern; they have no close relatives that share their DNA and are truly irreplaceable. Two birds on this list, the kaka and the south island wren, known in New Zealand as the rock wren, live in Victoria Forest Park which the Government has just opened up for petroleum exploration.

“The National Government is proposing to allow petroleum exploration in the habitat of two of the world’s most unique and threatened birds, the rock wren and the kaka,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The kaka and rock wren are irreplaceable birds species on the edge of extinction and yet the National Government is increasing the risk to their existence, rather than protecting them.

“New Zelanders love the rock wren with its tiny wings and tail, bobbing up and down and the boisterous cheeky kaka, and they want these species protected, not put at greater risk of extinction.

“The Government should rule out allowing further petroleum and minerals development in the habitat of these unique and special species of bird,” said Ms Sage.

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