Kia ora Chris, we need to talk about biodiversity

Listed: 4th October 2023

We have heard you addressing the many crises and pressures facing us as a nation, but the crisis facing our native wildlife, our taonga species, needs to be addressed.

Nature is in crisis. Healthy, functioning ecosystems are our first line of defence against climate change and extreme weather events. So protecting our wildlife is better for nature, and better for us.

At the Southern Lakes Sanctuary – a coalition of over 80 predator trapping groups based in Queenstown and Wānaka – we are trying to save these taonga. We are one of many conservation groups striving to protect our native species from invasive predators. However, climate change brings added pressures:

Warming temperatures are enabling predators to reach new heights. Stoats have been trapped at 2,010m, and cats have been observed at over 2000m, threatening vulnerable alpine species like the rock wren / pīwauwau.

The cycles of our forests are also impacted. Beech masting seasons lead to a boom in rat numbers, followed by stoats. These predators then turn to eating native species like our beloved mohua. Climate change could increase the frequency of these events.

Southern Lakes Sanctuary is calling for increased and ongoing funding for the many conservation groups working to truly make a difference for New Zealand’s native wildlife.

Chris, our wildlife can’t talk, but we can and we’re hoping you can help.

From all of the team,
Southern Lakes Sanctuary

Posted in: In the Media, News