Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

War on predators: capture collective wisdom, Trust says

War on predators: capture collective wisdom, Trust says

Plant pests must also be a focus

Hawke’s Bay-based conservation group Forest Lifeforce Restoration (FLR) Trust has welcomed the Predator-Free by 2050 initiative announced by the government earlier this week. It says the target is achievable but that success will rely on collaboration and information-sharing on a scale not yet seen in New Zealand conservation circles and that few have dared dream was possible.

“Conservation in New Zealand can no longer be purely the preserve of government agencies,” said Trust Chairman Simon Hall. “The job’s too big, the battle’s too fierce. Landowners and the private sector all have a role to play.

“It’s crucial for the success of this initiative, though, that Predator Free New Zealand Limited is able to harness not just the collective will, but also the expertise developed from decades of trial and error that exists in pockets right across the country.”

The Trust was established a decade ago by Mr Hall, who is also Chairman of Auckland-based Tasti Foods, to provide direction and funding for the restoration of threatened species of fauna and flora in New Zealand’s wild places. Since then it has developed a reputation as one of the most prolific and successful kiwi conservation initiatives in the country.

It also runs the largest privately-funded native forest regeneration initiative of its kind yet seen in New Zealand. This involves converting a 4,000 hectare logging concession in inland Hawke’s Bay, the Maungataniwha Pine Forest, back into native forest.

The FLR Trust is establishing a second sanctuary on its property in the Maungataniwha Native Forest. This will be run along the same lines as the Trust’s original 600 hectare sanctuary centred on Waiau Camp, with a similar concentration of traps and bait stations targeting predators such as rats, stoats and possums which cause havoc with native species of flora and fauna. Bird counts and trapping figures will be used to provide a rough indication of the programme’s success.

The $60,000 project has received a $25,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and aims to eliminate within three years most predators of native species across a 400 hectare swathe of bushland bordering the Te Hoe River in inland Hawke’s Bay.

The FLR Trust is engaged in eight primary conservation projects, each of which complements the others. The reduction and elimination of predator populations is a vital part of the overall drive to provide a safe place for a variety of native plant and bird species to re-establish viable or healthy populations.

In addition to kiwi, the birds the Trust aims to protect include the threatened whio (Blue Duck), kaka, Yellow-Crowned Kakariki, Long-Tailed and Shining Cuckoos, and kereru. Discussions are currently underway about adding kokako to that group.

Plants on their ‘must save’ list include the flamboyant kakabeak (Clianthus maximus) and Turner's kohuhu (Pittosporum turneri), both of which are classified as ‘Nationally Critical’ – the Department of Conservation’s highest threatened plant ranking. The list also features several species of rare mistletoe and the Dactylanthus (Dactylanthus taylorii), New Zealand’s only indigenous fully parasitic flowering plant and known in te reo as pua o te Reinga, 'flower of the underworld'.

For all this to happen it’s essential that predator populations are at least reduced, or preferably eliminated. The Trust has been heavily involved in developing effective predator trapping and elimination techniques.

“This is the sort of collaboration with business and philanthropy that New Zealand will need if we are to achieve the goal of being predator-free by 2050,” said Department of Conservation director-general Lou Sanson.

“The expertise that sits within organisations like this across the country is inspiring - New Zealand can do this if we all work together.”

Mr Hall urged the experts behind Predator Free New Zealand to address the issues caused by plant pests as well as animals.

“Exotic plants are as much a pest as animals,” he said. “Most of our native forests have had the soul ripped out of them through years of mismanagement and commercial exploitation, now the indigenous plants that remain have to compete with these hardy interlopers for space, light and nourishment. It’s vital that we combat these plant pests with the same ruthlessness as we do the animals.”

Mr Hall said the Trust supported the use of 1080.

“When we first established the Trust I was very sceptical about the desirability of using 1080,” he said. “We allowed its use in a trial capacity and the difference it made to the survival rates of our young kiwi and whio populations was immense and relatively immediate. Now we allow widespread use of 1080 on our properties and we’re grateful for the boost it gives to our efforts.”

- ends –

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hope For Nature: A New Deal For The Commons

Joseph Cederwall on The Dig: The current global paradigm is devastating life everywhere by disrupting vital “ecosystem services” like the food, water, and climate regulation systems that both humanity and biodiversity depend on in an interconnected balance.

It is increasingly clear that the primary driver of this crisis is the limiting and infectious worldview around land and resource use so central to the global capitalist system. To fully understand the biodiversity crisis and explore what comes next, it is necessary to address this mind-virus at the heart of our modern civilisation – the dominion worldview. More>>

 
 

SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>

ALSO:

Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Sustainable NZ Isn't Self-Sustaining

Asking whether this new, environmentally focussed party can make the 5% MMP threshold may be the wrong question, though. It's more achievable goal would be to knock the Greens below the 5% threshold ... More>>

ALSO:

Report On Consultation: Future Of Tomorrow's Schools

“The 1989 Tomorrow’s Schools reform introduced one of world’s most devolved schooling systems where each school operates largely in isolation of each other... It empowered local communities and modernised an overly bureaucratic system but also led over time to uneven outcomes between schools.” More>>

ALSO:

National Education Doc:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels