Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


New Zealand birdlife under threat

Tuesday 6 December 2005

New Zealand birdlife under threat

More work needs to be done to protect threatened bird species in New Zealand, new research says.

An overview of the state of New Zealand native birds says that while seriously endangered bird species are being successfully managed, there are many less-endangered species that are not being managed and are in severe decline.

Compiler of the State of New Zealand's Birds 2005 and a senior lecturer at Lincoln University, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, said today that the Conservation Department had been very successful at saving critically endangered species from extinction with, arguably, a better record of success than any other agency any where in the world.

"Almost all bird species that are being actively managed are increasing, albeit slowly in the case of very difficult species such as the Taiko and Kakapo."

However, she said, there were a number of species that were in decline or under threat that were in dire need of assistance. These included the Chatham Shag, Blue Duck, Weka, New Zealand dotterel, Mohua (Yellowhead) and Hihi (Stitchbird).

"More needs to be done by non-governmental organizations and universities to complement the work being done by DoC. Almost all of our land birds and almost half of New Zealand's seabirds breed only in New Zealand - if we don't save these species, no one else can."

The overview document, "The State of New Zealand's Birds 2005", seeks to identify those species in decline but not subject to active management and those for which there is insufficient knowledge to assess their true status. It will be launched at the opening reception of the 3rd Australasian Ornithological Conference in Blenheim on Tuesday, 6 December 2005. The conference is being hosted by the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, the pre-eminent non-governmental organisation for the study of birds in New Zealand.

Ms Wilson said the research showed the number of seabirds that were under threat is increasing while the number of people with expertise on seabirds (both within and outside of DoC) was in decline.

"The current status for most species of seabirds is at best poorly known and the true situation for seabirds, in particular petrels is probably worse than this report indicates."

She said many species that were restricted to the mainland were in decline but, for some species there was insufficient evidence to verify this. These species include most parrots and kiwi, Wrybill, Black-fronted Tern and the robins.

On the mainland, the major threat to native birds was introduced mammal predators such as rats, stoats, possums, and cats.

"Bird conservation on the mainland depends on the annual application of poisons such as 1080. These strategies are successful in that they allow the populations of native birds to increase but there is increasing resistance to the use of these poisons. There is an urgent need for alternative means for controlling mammal predators."

Ms Wilson said predator fences that can exclude all mammals including rats offered an alternative solution.

"The first such fence was erected in 1999 and encloses the 250 ha Karori Sanctuary in Wellington. Currently under construction is a 45 km long fence that will encircle 3400 ha of native forest on Maungatautari Mountain in the Waikato."


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


ScoopPro: Helping The Education Sector Get More Out Of Scoop

The ScoopPro professional license includes a suite of useful information tools for professional users of Scoop including some specifically for those in the education sector to make your Scoop experience better. More>>

Big Tax Bill Due: Destiny Church Charities Deregistered

The independent Charities Registration Board has decided to remove Destiny International Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings Limited from the Charities Register on 20 December 2017 because of the charities’ persistent failure to meet their annual return obligations. More>>

57 Million Users' Data: Uber Breach "Utterly Preventatable"

Cybersecurity leader Centrify says the Uber data breach of 57 million customer and driver records - which the ride-hailing company hid for more than a year - was “utterly preventable”. More>>

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

Having A Cow? Dairy Product Prices Slide For Fourth Straight Auction

Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, retreating for the fourth straight auction amid signs of increased production... Whole milk powder fell 2.7 percent to US$2,778 a tonne. More>>


Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>


Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>


  • Bill Bennett on Tech