Native birds and fish are verging on extinction on Auckland's North Shore
Our native birds are in deep trouble, native fish are on the verge of extinction, and most people don't have any idea, a conservationist says.
"Many people think nature in New Zealand is okay, but it's not. If you compare the facts with what people know, people care, but many don't know what is going on," Forest & Bird North Shore Branch chairman Dr Richard Hursthouse said.
Hursthouse encouraged about 50 people attending a community meeting on Auckland's North Shore on July 12 to get involved in saving them.
There are a number of endangered birds and fish on the North Shore, and community conservation efforts are vital to helping them survive, he explained.
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Pest plants are destroying native birds' habitats, so community efforts to eradicate weeds are important.
And predators are competing for food and killing birds, so trapping is also needed.
As the city grows and the amount of concrete increases, water runoff is flooding streams with mud, and sedimentation is destroying the habitat for endangered native fish, including whitebait.
Shoal Bay is the ecological gem of the North Shore, according to Hursthouse, who noted people want to put in a road along Shoal Bay as an alternative to Devonport's Lake Rd.
"Twelve threatened or endangered species live on Shoal Bay and we do need to preserve it," Hursthouse said.
The bay is a rare nesting area for dotterel, which are endemic to New Zealand and themselves rare.
Also chairman of Centennial Park Bush Society, Hursthouse spoke of the success bait stations and traps have had in three years, with bird species returning to the Campbells Bay reserve.
Kaipatiki Local Board's chairwoman Danielle Grant spoke of the way the community has led conservation work in the area, with support from the local board and the council.
The current survey is part of monitoring work to ensure the time and money invested is helping and being targeted correctly.
Conservation Minister and North Shore MP Maggie Barry hosted the meeting and outlined the Government's Predator Free 2050 strategy and how community groups can help. There is $300,000 available for community projects and grants of up to $10,000 for projects like workshops and trap libraries. Email DOC's Auckland predator free ranger for Kat Lane for advice on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot topics in question time included hedgehogs being pests, cat control and 1080.