The Society for Conservation Biology in Oceania has released a conservation statement titled: ‘The Plight of New Zealand’s Freshwater Biodiversity’.
The report succinctly outlines the decline of species living in our fresh waters and the reasons for the decline. It reminds us that 74 per cent of our native freshwater fish species are threatened or at risk of extinction. The authors identify six priority to protect New Zealand’s freshwater biodiversity:
- Change legislation to adequately protect native and endemic fish species and
invertebrates, including those harvested commercially and recreationally;
- Protect habitat critical to the survival of New Zealand’s freshwater species;
- Include river habitat to protect ecosystem health in the National Objectives Framework for the National Policy Statement on freshwater;
- Establish monitoring and recovery plans for New Zealand’s threatened freshwater invertebrate fauna;
- Develop policy and best management practices for freshwater catchments which includes wetlands, estuaries and groundwater ecosystems and;
- Establish, improve and maintain appropriately wide riparian zones that connect across entire water catchments.