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Conserving Native Birds

New Zealand is world famous for its unique birdlife. In this science story, we look at the issues surrounding the conservation of some of our threatened bird species.

New Zealand birds have evolved in isolation from other countries over millions of years. The arrival of humans in New Zealand brought many threats to these bird species, including the introduction of mammalian predators, vegetation being burned to clear land, which destroyed vast areas of birds’ habitats, and birds being eaten by early settlers.

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Over a period of time, certain bird species have become critically endangered or extinct as a result of predation and habitat loss. Other bird species have survived because they have been able to adapt to different habitats and diets. Still others exist with the aid of a protected environment.

Conservation is important in maintaining biodiversity, which sustains ecosystems, preventing the loss of genetic material from the gene pool and recognising the value that certain species have to people.

In this science story, we look at the threats to our endemic birds in particular and explore different types of conservation techniques.

This video uses data collected on the eBird website to show the distribution of kākā in Wellington between 2004 - 2014. Look how much the number of sightings have increased!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwzRyYwyfY0 external link

The inaugural WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation Awards winning entries showcase innovative technological advances, such as Trap Minder, CatTracker and new bird song recognition software. These will all help with the conservation efforts for our native birds.
News story: www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1411/S00001/wwfs-conservation-innovation-winners-announced.htm external link
Video: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/new-bird-song-recognition-technology-video-6121139 external link