The Press: New farms destroying native NZ

David Williams writes in The Press about research by Landcare suggesting that intensive farming is having an extremely negative effect on New Zealand’s native plants.

Their 2009 annual report said that rates of biodiversity loss in New Zealand  had led to the highest rate of native plant life loss since European colonisation, with Canterbury’s plant life under particular threat.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“”Analysis … confirms that agricultural intensification over the past 10 years has led to the highest rate of native vegetation loss since European colonisation,” the Crown research institute’s [2009 annual] report said.

“Landcare ecologist Bill Lee said moves to intensive farming practices over the past decade had “dramatically” wiped out native plants and animals.

“”The Canterbury Plains have probably suffered the highest level of biodiversity loss of any ecological region in New Zealand.”

“He said biodiversity losses included shrubs, herbs, lizards and large invertebrates.

“Fish species had suffered from pollution and loss of habitat from water extraction.”