Many of New Zealand’s indigenous plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world but these unique treasures are being lost at a frightening rate.
We are looking at extinction rates a thousand times higher than the natural rate.
We have positive conservation stories for a small minority of our native animal species but these require active management to maintain numbers and, except for a few examples, populations cannot be sustained in the wild.
And the actual number of species threatened or at risk is likely to be a lot higher given that around 5,000 of the assessed 14,000 terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species are ‘data deficient’ i.e. there is not enough information to know their status.
Sources: Environment Aotearoa Report 2019, Ministry for the Environment, StatsNZ; IUCN Red List; The Society for Conservation Biology.