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.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
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.