NZ Herald/NZPA: Katipo face invaders from South Africa

Native katipo spiders are currently co-existing in coastal sand dunes with a South African invader, but there are fears that, should habitats shrink, the katipo might be on the losing side.

However, it would appear that the primary danger to katipo spiders is posed by human activity, and scientists are considering ways to protect katipo populations if necessary.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“But the main threat to katipo seemed to be humans, with some katipo populations along the Manawatu-Wanganui coastline appearing to be at risk of extinction at sites in Wanganui South and Castlecliff.

“There was a need to reduce and reverse damage being done to sand dunes by vehicles, dumping, grazing by hares, and the spread of exotic plants with dense growth.

“New katipo might have to be moved into these areas to bolster the local populations, Ms Costall said in a paper published in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology.”