Benefits Of Single Species Recovery Programmes

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World conservation is at a crossroads of judgement making and New Zealand provides an extreme example of issues and possible solutions. On the positive side, more than 30% of total land area in New Zealand has been set aside for as National Parks (DOC, n.d.) and various reserved land and is run by the Department of Conservation. Single species recovery programmes have been successful with the use of eradication of offshore islands pests to for reintroduction of threatened onshore species such as the Kakapo on Cod fish island. However, this is in marked contrast to biodiversity decline with up to 50% of native birds threatened due to introduced pests such as mustelids and possums. With legislation (Conservation Act 1987), public opinion and changes in current practices, conservation and development might be able to coexist to a point where each can be sustainable (Craig, 2000).

Brief history of land conservation in New Zealand till 1969

New Zealand is a special place as it was the last major land form to be settled as it is separated by large oceans so was largely unknown. Before the first settlers arrived, the country had been isolated for some 85 million years with the result of different plant life, large and flightless birds as well as no ground living mammals (“Conservation – a history”, n.d.).

With the early Maori and European settlers bringing in mammals for sport and food, this had a devastating effect on the endemic wildlife population with up to 40% of species

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