The loss of our native birds from the wild has been revealed in its full extent for the first time – with a bleak and sweeping stock-take showing major hits for most endemic species.
But keeping our birds in large numbers can be achieved for a realistic price says the Landcare Research scientist who has presented the startling figures to top ecologists.
A comparison of monitoring data collected over periods in the 1970s and early 2000s showed significant falls in well-known species such as brown kiwi – kokako – kaka – rifleman – tomtit and blue duck or whio.
‘The species that have been hit the hardest are the ones found nowhere else in the world – so there’s a strong relationship between loss and endemism’ Dr Susan Walker told the Herald.
‘That seems to be because they have these traits which make them very vulnerable to predators – their breeding simply can’t keep up with the rate of predation’.