Native species decline in New Zealand

How do we stop native species decline in New Zealand [infogaphic]

Gareth MorganEnvironment17 Comments

Predator Free NZ 2050 is a great goal, but will we have any native species left by then? Native species decline in New Zealand is a real problem. We need to do more just to keep what we’ve got.

How do we stop the decline in our native species?

How do we stop native species decline in New Zealand [infogaphic] was last modified: August 15th, 2016 by Gareth Morgan
About the Author

Gareth Morgan

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Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist and commentator on public policy who in previous lives has been in business as an economic consultant, funds manager, and professional company director. He is also a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist. Gareth and his wife Joanne have a charitable foundation, the Morgan Foundation, which has three main stands of philanthropic endeavour – public interest research, conservation and social investment.

17 Comments on “How do we stop native species decline in New Zealand [infogaphic]”

  1. Hello. Nice infographic about existing decline, but IMHO it doesn’t seem to match its title.

    Based on the title I thought it was going to lay out a plan for stopping the decline of native species. It seems to stop at “we need a plan and exactly this much money”, without actually providing any meaningful detail of how and where the money would be spent, and why that would work.

  2. Not to mention that Gareth advocates for 1080…… which is as big a killer of threatened species as any rat…or cat…….There used to be a bounty on possums …..which spawned a fir trade….there are many people of the land who would actively trap predators in the bush if there was a bounty today, many do anyway, unrewarded……a much more economic and creative way to deal with the problem, and an earner for folks that need it. Poison does not have a conscience…. it is not selective……. it kills indiscriminately……do we really want to pour thousands of tons of this crap onto our country? Our incumbent Govt… it’s infinite wisdom, thinks so……..just don’t start me on what I think of them…..

    1. Jerry the problem is that what you call a solution by setting up a bounty system has proven to do the opposite in the real world. What happens is that hunting gets so economic attractive that hunters start breeding/protecting pests in stead of hunting them till extinction. They want to sustain their income and that is just insane when you want to safe your native species.
      Also you’r statement that 1080 is as big as killer as rats is 100% BS. You know that otherwise you would have shown us at least some proof. Almost everyone knows that we have way to much rats and poisoning them all in combination with a unfortunate 1 % of collateral damage of protected species is WAY more better than that you let our last few % of surviving species munch up by trap shy and surviving rats.
      You don’t need to have studied science to make that sum up yourself. Where I am living the land is extreme steep and dense forest that their is no way you will ever trap or shoot every pest. I am one of these who does trapping pests without getting any payment for it and I can tell you your solution is no solution. It is just a delay of judgement day for our last surviving native species.

    2. Well, the risk with putting too much expectation in bounties and the fur trade to reduce predators is that they’re most profitable when there’s a thriving population of their target species. There are some good trappers out there who help, but the biggest incentives in the industry are to simply take the easiest pests off the top (and normally only of the species they want… it’s not as if anyone harvests rats), then move on to somewhere else with high populations to let the original population re-generate. In practice it’s necessary to reduce the pest populations much much further than the easiest ones in order to make any significant positive difference for native species.

      It’s fab to see the NZ Fur Council come out and say that it wants to be part of the solution, even if some players in the industry don’t want anything to do with it. What would be more meaningful, though, is a clear business plan explanation of how the incentives can be set in the fur trapping industry which lets them operate in a way that doesn’t conflict with the goal of reducing all target predators to useful levels, and eventually eliminating them entirely.

    3. The bounty system in the 1960s led to people introducing possums into Northland, which up till then didn’t have them. A great disaster. And say, isn’t possum fur at $120 a kilo enough of a bounty?

    1. We have one. The Greens.
      Some people don’t like the fact that the Greens know you cannot look after the environment without a fair and sustainable economy.

      1. The ‘Greens’ are equally a social justice party. Im talking bout a party that is solely concerned itself with getting more money into conservation. It would not be concerned with what coalition party it joined with its sole purpose would be to increase tax payers money into conservation.

        1. It’s up to individual voters, obviously, but while I’ll leave it up to the election before deciding who to vote for, I don’t think I could really vote for a single issue party. To do so means to vote in a group of people whose presence will be wasted, redundant, random or strongly controlled by others for nearly everything that Parliament discusses and votes on. For as much as I care about conservation policy, I also like to know how my vote’s going to be used on other issues.

          I do find it amusing that the Green Party copped criticism early on for only focusing on certain fringe issues. It spent lots of effort developing clear and concise policies on other issues, and it’s not difficult to find people who now like to criticise it for doing exactly that.

          1. The problem is that the Greens dont focus on only green issues and have never been in a position to implement any policy.

            Maybe its the case that many conservative people dont vote greens because they dont like their economic stance but on the other hand would vote for a conservation party.

          2. The Greens have never been in government (unless you count the various agreements, or being part of the Alliance a long time ago), but I think there’s a strong case that the presence of the Green Party and the support it attracts has has a clear and definite impact on the policies and actions of other parties. Including National.

            The GP has put plenty of issues on the table and made them important enough to be picked up by others, even if not in exactly the same form. In that respect it’s already been a hugely successful movement.

          3. Can you be more specific as I dont see a party that garners 10% of the vote roughly having much influence. Since the GP weve seen massive intensive dairying which has killed our rivers. A full go ahead with offshore drilling. Nothing really as far on conservation apart from Nationals $28 million dollar pledge to become predator free which at best is pathetic. Our seas continue to be plundered with revelations this year that commercial fishers have been massively underreporting their catch for decades.Hector and Maui dolphins are heading to extinction which in my opinion will be shameful for NZ. The list goes on and I would argue our country is less green now than before the Greens came into parliament.

    2. Ocean Conservation ? Did you not just read that we have 985 threatened species, almost all of them terrestrial or fresh water ?

      1. For me ocean conservation is not only about saving endangered species like the hectors dolphin and not killing albatross its about restoring our oceans to pre commercial levels. As someone who uses the ocean a lot Id love to see commercial quotas reduced a lot.

        1. Fair enough, happens I agree but you don’t go far enough. If 1080 is to be used , then maybe we should be using it on commercial fishermen, surely the worst pest of them all ?

    3. Yes, ocean conservation please. Why is there nothing on this website about Hector’s and Maui dolphins? It’s both odd and really disappointing. Maui are the most critically endangered marine cetacean in the world. There are enough parties, groups/organisations already – it’s how people within operate (or don’t) that seems to be a roadblock – I’ve just seen enough with ego-driven, profile-building, political/funding motivations driving competitiveness between groups and quashing chances at success.

      If Maui dolphins who are critically endangered, were as accessible as land-dwelling species and not in the way of a Govt named ‘Primary Industry’, they would probably be getting GENUINE help to win the protections needed. Look at the success of Kakapo – only 18 known to exist in 1970 and today thankfully there are just under 150. What are local groups truly doing to push Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries or Maggie Barry, Minister for Conservation to give Maui dolphins the protection that is crucial?

      Raising awareness and educating while seeking funds is important, but these things alone will not work to save our dolphins. Given what has been ignored by Govt for all these years so they can protect a small slice of inshore fish commerce (within the world’s 4th largest Economic Exclusion Zone) – what can work?

      Just last month the International Whaling Commission slammed the New Zealand government for having taken NO management action to protect Maui dolphins since 2012! This is now the fifth time that the IWC have been ignored by the Govt. DOC swiftly launched Predator Free NZ 2050, but has nothing to say about MPI’s and their own inaction. Protecting commercial fishing at the cost of an entire subspecies, from 1,800 in the 1970’s to less than 50 today?

      I just can’t stomach the fish. How could anyone here who cares about our native species? These dolphins are our treasures, our taonga, and the government has let fishers run roughshod over them for decades. Here’s the petition to McDonald’s. Aldi UK is receiving information about what has truly been happening with New Zealand’s dolphins too.

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