NZ Government Pledges Millions to save the Kiwi
Following warnings that New Zealand’s national bird could become extinct, the government has set aside NZ$11.2m ($8.3m; £5.3m) to stop the constant decline of kiwi numbers.
“The aim of the investment is to turn the two percent (wild kiwi) decline into an annual increase as soon as possible”, said Maggie Barry, Conservation Minister.
Kiwis are at danger from human-introduced pests such as stoats, weasels and ferrets as well as dogs.
The extra government funding will be just part of the battle to save the national bird, with around 90 community-led groups to the fore.
“Despite gains in some areas, wild kiwi numbers in New Zealand continue to decline, and the national population now numbers just 70,000 with an average of 27 kiwi killed by predators every week”, said Michelle Impey, Executive Director of the charity Kiwis for kiwi.
These charity groups make a huge difference and kiwi numbers are increasing in areas where the work is being done, according to Kiwis for kiwi director Impey.
Kiwis “are a famous and precious taonga and integral to our national identity. If we don’t do more now to halt their decline, we risk losing wild kiwi forever”, said Barry.
Article Source: BBC News, May 22, 2015.
Image Source: Acuteaday.com