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Call to action to save native species

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/05/2017

New Zealanders need to get behind efforts to protect threatened native plants and animals, the conservation minister says.

At the Threatened Species Summit in Wellington on Wednesday, Maggie Barry launched the Department of Conservation's draft Threatened Species Strategy.

Four bird species, the takahe, rowi/Okarito brown kiwi, Campbell Island snipe and Campbell Island teal are no longer nationally critical, but nationally vulnerable, which is the first time a kiwi species has been moved out of the highest threat class.

The plan is to further protect other species.

""We have built up an impressive armoury in the fight to save our native species, so I feel confident that if we all pull together we can achieve this," Ms Barry said.

"In areas where there's conservation management, we are making good progress in protecting vulnerable bird species. Since the first assessment in 2012, the fortunes of 22 threatened bird species have improved."

The draft strategy aims to secure the future of vulnerable native species by building on existing programmes, partnerships with iwi, communities, landowners, philanthropists, local and regional councils and botanic gardens.

A revised Bird Threat Classification publication was also released on Wednesday and a revised plant classification will be released in a few months.

There was no pre-Budget announcement of further funding for conservation efforts.

DOC'S GOALS FOR THE STRATEGY:

* Manage 500 species for protection by 2025, a 40 per cent increase on 2017 - and 600 species for protection by 2030.

* Enhance the populations of 150 prioritised threatened and at risk species by 2025

* Support research, particularly through the National Science Challenges, that helps better understanding of data deficient species

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