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Aggressive rainbow lorikeets lose final protection

26 August 2001 Media Statement

Aggressive rainbow lorikeets lose final protection


Conservation Minister Sandra Lee has announced that rainbow lorikeets will no longer be a protected species from 1 October 2001.

Ms Lee said Cabinet has approved the addition of rainbow lorikeets to the 5th Schedule of the Wildlife Act, which lists "wildlife not protected".

“Up until now, lorikeets have been protected by default under the Wildlife Act 1953 in spite of being a threat to our indigenous biodiversity. They have already been declared unwanted organisms under the Biosecurity Act and this latest action removes the remaining formal legal protection of this species.

"In recent years there have been problems with rainbow lorikeets driving out tui and other native birds around Auckland suburbs after illegal and accidental releases of captive birds.

"Department of Conservation staff involved in re-capture operations say rainbow lorikeets are dominating the food sources of our native bird species. For example a group of tui, one of our most aggressive native birds, has been seen unable to compete against even a small number of lorikeets.

The Department of Conservation in Auckland is continuing with its planned programme of re-capturing flocks of lorikeets and wants to hear from anyone who sees the blue-headed parrots.

ENDS

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