Updated environmental indicators show native marine and terrestrial species are fighting extinction and wetlands continue to disappear, Stats NZ said today.
The indicators “threat of extinction for native marine species” and “threat of extinction for native terrestrial species” show trends in populations of particular native marine and terrestrial species, and how close we could be to lose them completely.
“Environmental indicators are essential to get a big picture of what is happening in our environment. They help us track changes and support decision making, ”said Angela Seaton, Environmental Reporting Manager.
According to the indicators, 90 percent of seabird species, 82 percent of shorebird species and 94 percent of reptile species are either endangered or threatened. In addition, populations of many of our native species are expected to decline.
The threat of extinction of native marine species also highlights the marine species of taonga – those of cultural significance to the Maori – which are threatened with extinction. The partial list of marine taonga species was developed through research and consultation and complements previously published data on freshwater taonga species. The threat of extinction of native freshwater species was published in June 2021.
Another indicator released today, “Wetlands”, shows a continuing trend of net loss. The area of New Zealand’s freshwater wetlands (including the Chatham Islands) decreased by nearly 1,500 hectares between 2012 and 2018.
These indicators are part of a larger slice that will inform the New Zealand Ministry of Environment and Statistics Environment Aotearoa report to be released in April 2022.