Where is the highest rate of threatened species on earth?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature keeps the world’s most comprehensive inventory of threatened and endangered species. On it, there are 41,415 threatened species.
And out of all the countries in the world, New Zealand currently has the most threatened species of them all, with more than 4,000 throughout the country. This includes mammals, birds, and plantlife.
New Zealand’s endangered species ambassador Nicola Toki recently spoke with the AM Show, highlighting the fact that while many Kiwis are concerned about conservation and the environment, not many people realise we are actually undergoing a “biodiversity crisis”.
While the government has set a goal for a pest-free New Zealand by 2050, Ms Toki said that even the small things that Kiwis do at home can help to encourage local populations of threatened species. For example, planting trees in the community and reducing rat populations has a real effect on bringing birds such as the kakapo back into the ecosystem, she said.
“This is something we can actually get out there and do with our families and see the tangible results,” she added.
The idea of banning domestic cats for conservation purposes has been a hot topic lately, but Ms Toki thinks that while responsible ownership is important, banning this household favourite pet may be a step too far. Instead, homeowners should microchip their furred friends, and keep an eye on them when they’re outside whenever possible.
As Ms Toki pointed out, community involvement makes conservation easier, which is why we often volunteer with local conservation projects and encourage our Auckland eco tour guests to get involved whenever possible as well.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist