Library:Conservation status of birds in Aotearoa New Zealand 2021 (report)

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Conservation status of birds in Aotearoa New Zealand 2021 (report)

The conservation status of birds in Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021 is a scientific report published by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as part of the New Zealand Threat Classification Series. The report presents the results of an assessment of the conservation status of 491 bird taxa that have been recorded in Aotearoa New Zealand and its Exclusive Economic Zone since human contact. The assessment was conducted by a panel of experts using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS), which is a national system for ranking the threat of extinction for native species and subspecies.

The report provides an update on the changes in the status of bird taxa since the previous assessment in 2016, and identifies the main threats and knowledge gaps affecting their conservation. The report also includes new additions and deletions to the list of bird taxa, as well as changes in taxonomic names and classifications based on recent research. The report aims to inform conservation planning, management, research and advocacy for Aotearoa New Zealand’s native birds.

The main findings of the report are:

  • Of the 491 bird taxa assessed, 80 (16.3%) are Threatened, 98 (20.0%) are At Risk, 37 (7.5%) are Not Threatened, and 212 (41.1%) are Non-resident, Coloniser, or Introduced and Naturalised.
  • Two taxa remain as Data Deficient, although both are probably functionally extinct, with no accepted sightings in the past 5 years.
  • Since 2016, the status of 25 taxa has improved, often because of conservation management, while the status of 22 taxa has deteriorated.
  • Of note, 5 of 23 taxa that were regarded as Threatened – Nationally Critical are now considered less threatened and no taxa have moved into this category.
  • Much conservation work is still required because 137 taxa are identified as being dependent on conservation management and climate change is known or predicted to have a negative impact on 69 taxa.
  • Although birds are better known than many other taxonomic groups, 80 taxa were flagged as requiring more conservation research and 52 taxa were given one or more data poor qualifiers to indicate a paucity of knowledge about their taxonomy and / or their population sizes and trends.

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