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Science Media Centre

Expert Reactions

Native birds in dire straits – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on May 31st, 2017.

A new report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment highlights the desperate situation for many native birds, despite concerted conservation efforts. While Dr Jan Wright applauds the Predator Free 2050 goal, she says a plan of action is urgently required. Among her other recommendations, she suggests a Nature Border Levy to fund conservation and […]

Yellow-eyed penguins could disappear from mainland – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on May 17th, 2017.

One of New Zealand’s iconic species, the yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho, could disappear from the mainland within decades unless there is urgent action taken to protect the remaining population. Researchers from the University of Otago sounded the alarm after modelling suggested the South Island population could become locally extinct by 2060. But even that estimate […]

Threatened Species Strategy – Expert Reaction

Tessa Evans posted in on May 11th, 2017.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has launched a draft strategy for protecting our threatened species. Announced during DOC’s Threatened Species Summit yesterday, the strategy outlines how the government aims to halt the decline of our threatened species and prevent others from becoming threatened. The draft strategy is open for consultation until 31 July. The strategy included a priority list of 150 […]

OECD rates NZ’s environmental performance – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on March 21st, 2017.

The OECD’s latest report on New Zealand’s environmental performance warns that the country’s growth is starting to show environmental limits, including increased greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater contamination and threats to biodiversity. The third OECD Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand made 50 recommendations and noted the country has the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions […]

Native’s not always good and exotic’s not all bad – Wayne Linklater

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on March 3rd, 2017.

On World Wildlife Day, Victoria University of Wellington’s Dr Wayne Linklater writes in the Dominion Post about his thoughts on the “native good, exotic bad” message. An excerpt (read in full): I don’t like my children being provoked to kill for conservation. And I don’t like them being taught to demonise an entire species of animal, […]

Minister visits Auckland Islands – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 27th, 2017.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has just returned from a four-day trip to the Auckland Islands on the HMNZS Otago. On the trip, Barry announced that the Department of Conservation (DOC) was celebrating a 14 per cent increase in sea lion pups this year, following years of declining births on the subantarctic Auckland Islands. She said […]

Predator Free NZ: what will it take to achieve our own ‘moonshot’ – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 18th, 2017.

Nearly six months ago the Government announced it would aim for a Predator Free New Zealand by 2050. We asked experts about the tools needed to pull off the audacious plan and what the hurdles to success might be. Please feel free to use these comments in your reporting. – Professor Neil Gemmell, University of Otago […]

Community targets wasps – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on December 20th, 2016.

A community-led conservation project – supported by Fairfax Media’s The Nelson Mail – aims to significantly reduce German and common wasps in the Nelson-Tasman region this summer. Stuff launched the campaign with an interactive feature – Wasp Wipeout – covering the history of wasps in New Zealand, current control regimes in the region and the […]

Peninsular predator-free research – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 7th, 2016.

Press feature writer Will Harvie visited Marlborough’s Bottle Rock Peninsula to take a look at a research project aiming to maintain the peninsula as a predator-free haven using lines of traps instead of fencing. The ‘virtual barrier’ – 600 metres wide and 2 kilometres long – allows the team at Zero Invasive Predators to research […]

Govt plan to boost kiwi – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on October 4th, 2016.

The Government has announced a plan to boost wild kiwi numbers to more than 100,000 by 2030 – about 30,000 more than current numbers. Conservation Minister Maggie Barry announced the draft plan on Monday and will now seek feedback from iwi partners and other stakeholders. The plan has three high-level goals: growing populations, maintaining genetic […]

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