Sam Judd

Comment on the environment from nzherald.co.nz columnist Sam Judd

Sam Judd: Are we blowing it?

29 comments
Around the world, three species become extinct each hour and it seems New Zealand is no better than the rest of the world. Photo / Department of Conservation
Around the world, three species become extinct each hour and it seems New Zealand is no better than the rest of the world. Photo / Department of Conservation

Around the world, three species become extinct each hour. Although this is an international statistic, it seems we are no better than those who share the world with us.

In 2010 Statistics New Zealand released the worrying fact that the distribution of all seven of our chosen indicator species has decreased steadily since the 1970s.

Four such species, the short-tailed bat; dactylanthus (a flowering plant); and two birdspecies, the möhua (yellowhead) and kökako - are now found in only 5 percent or less of their pre-human range.

What this means is that our development is pushing away the native species that we are so proud of.

When a tourist comes here and swaps their euros for New Zealand currency, how are we going to explain that the revered animals on our coins no longer live here except for in zoos?

Our only endemic dolphin, the Maui's Dolphin, has been decimated down to a population of only 55- largely due to set-netting.

We as a nation are going to have to step up and make a tough decision- should we continue the smash and grab, get-rich-quick approach to our natural resources or should we think about protecting the tourism industry and our endemic and native species?

Many of our resources are finite, yet if we look after our tourism estate, then it will be an industry that survives into the future.

So what can we do about this?

Go and support initiatives that are re-establishing our native species such as:
* Zealandia bird sanctuary
* Tawharanui Park
* Orokanui Ecosanctuary
* Kaharoa Kokako Trust
* WWF's Stop Their Extinction campaign
* The Million Dollar Mouse campaign

Get your family, school or business involved in one of the great initiatives that help protect what we love for future generations.

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 18 Sep 2014 17:54:01 Processing Time: 585ms