Endangered species management planning New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Science in Natural Resource Management at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The conservation and management of biodiversity has become increasingly sophisticated and this has led to the development of new tools and methods, such as computer programmes to analyse data and modelling approaches to compare different management scenarios and evaluate their potential effectiveness (Kareiva & Levin, 2003). Conservation efforts depend on knowledge, availability of resources, management planning and a willingness of the government and community to commit to long-term recovery actions (National Biodiversity Strategy Review Task Group (NBSRTG), 2009).
Currently, New Zealand legislation that specifically addresses threatened species at a national level in New Zealand, such as the Wildlife Act 1953 and the Conservation Act 1987 are outdated in managing the threats our endangered species face. Adopting more robust legislation, such as that found in Australia (the Environment, Protection and Biodiversity Protection Act 1999), or in the United States of America (the U.S. Endangered Species Act 1973) could help the Department of Conservation reduce the numbers of endemic species being added to the threatened species list and aid in recovery planning for the future.
This research assesses New Zealand‟s threatened species recovery plans and compares them with national threatened species recovery plans in Australia. New Zealand has recovery plans for only 50 species despite the fact that there are some 2800 species classified as threatened and facing potential extinction (Department of Conservation (DOC), 2010a). Analysing what currently exists in management plans is one way in which to determine what planning has taken place and how an organisation is planning for the future (Sattler & Creighton, 2002b). The lack of review of existing plans is in itself an impediment to improving future plans (Clark, Reading, Clarke, 1994; Clark, Hoekstra, Boersma, Kareiva, 2002).
A review of New Zealand‟s endangered species recovery plan programme indicates that if threatened species recovery efforts are to be successful in the future, there needs to be a review of existing recovery plans; increased advocacy in the community; and legislation at the national level should be revised and enforced.