A unique environment • Our unique plants & animals were isolated for millions of years, evolving in the absence of people and mammalian predators. • We have almost no native mammals (only some bats); our larger animal life is dominated by birds (over 300 species), lizards, frogs, wētā and land snails. Many of these have unusual characteristics. Source: http://www.teara.govt.nz/
How many?!! • 25,000 plant species, 54 mammal species, and about 2,000 invertebrate species have been introduced here since human settlement. Source: Environment 2007 Report, Section 3 Biodiversity http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/ser/enz07-dec07/chapter-12.pdf
Aotearoa-New Zealand • “one of the world’s weediest countries”  Source: Landcare Research (2009); http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/obi.asp?Proj_Collab_ID=14
A problem!! Do you know which is pampas grass & which is toetoe?
The good & the bad • Plants – some useful for agriculture but others ….. impact on our native biodiversity • Animals –some useful for agriculture BUT what if they go wild!?
Stoats & other mustelids • DOC records, “(f)orty-four birds have become extinct since human colonisation brought pests, such as stoats, to New Zealand” . Source: Department of Conservation – Threats & Impacts: http://www.doc.govt.nz/publications/conservation/threats-and-impacts/biosecurity/devastating-immigrants/
Distribution of selected pest animal and weed species (indicator 2.5). • Source: Measuring New Zealand’s Progress Using a Sustainable Development Approach: 2008 Topic 2: Biodiversity from Stats NZ http://www.statistics.govt.nz/Publications/NationalAccounts/sustainable-development/biodiversity.aspx
Views of appropriate management for introduced wildlife animals Source: Fraser, A (2006) Public attitudes to pest control -A literature review DOC research report http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/drds227.pdf
Perception of introduced wildlife as pest or resource Source: Fraser, A (2006) Public attitudes to pest control -A literature review DOC research report http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/drds227.pdf
To rid our country of these pest species we need to spend large amounts of money
imagine …. All the humans have disappeared …. but all those pest species we introduced still exist. Discuss what could be the plus, minus, interesting factors of such a scenario for: • the environment of Canterbury? • the native plants & animals? • agricultural plants & animals?