Wild for Taranaki is a great example of a council supporting a community initiative. The regional council provides background support for this community driven response to restoring the natural environments of Taranaki. Here's a link to the Wild for Taranaki website - http://www.wildfortaranaki.nz/
In the PCE report on saving NZ's birds, Dr Wright said the increasing investment by philanthropic trusts, private land owners and many others is very encouraging. "But the task ahead of us is immense. Only a fifth of our bird species are secure, and a third are in serious trouble. The situation is similar for lizards, frogs, insects and other native fauna."
She recommended that the Minister of Conservation investigate both a Nature border levy and additional ways of charging international visitors for the provision of infrastructure and services on the conservation estate, in order to free up more Conservation Department funding for the protection of biodiversity.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has identified a gap in the Predator Free 2050 goal — it doesn't target feral cats, even though "these skilled hunters almost certainly number in the millions in the countryside and along forest margins".
The PCE report notes that in Australia feral cats are recognised as a great threat to their native species and research on control methods is underway.
The PCE report on saving New Zealand birds discusses three areas of research into predator control that rely on genetic science, and notes that approaches relying on genetic modification are likely to encounter strong opposition from some.
Dr Wright says for this reason, informed and early discussion will be essential, and should not only cover the risks associated with such methods but also the promise they hold - the widespread and potential eradication of the predators that are killing many millions of birds and other native wildlife every year.
In response to this upcoming issue, the Royal Society of New Zealand has set up a panel of experts on gene editing. Dr Wright also recommends the Government develop a programme of staged engagement with the general public on the potential uses of genetic techniques to control predators.
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