Hunters and fishers pleased 'valued introduced species' included in biodiversity strategy

The Government announced the strategy on Monday.
The Government announced the strategy on Monday. Photo credit: Getty

Hunters and fishers are welcoming the inclusion of introduced species such as tahr, deer, trout and salmon in the country's biodiversity strategy.

The Government on Monday announced a long-term environmental strategy aimed at keeping the country's natural ecosystems healthy and resilient.

Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy sets out five core outcomes in an effort to improve biodiversity by 2050.

Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said the strategy was a "chance to reset our priorities and take action together " so biodiversity in the country can thrive.

The New Zealand Game Animal Council on Tuesday said it welcomed the inclusion in the strategy of introduced species that are popular with hunters.

"Valued introduced species like deer, tahr, chamois and wild pigs have been here for well over a hundred years and are extremely important to hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders," said Tim Gale, Game Animal Council's general manager.

"They have become part of our backcountry heritage, are a significant source of mahinga kai for many communities and provide important recreational and commercial opportunities right across New Zealand."

Fish & Game also said it was encouraging to see species such as trout, salmon and ducks included in the strategy. 

"Sports fish and game birds represent a hugely valued recreational and cultural resource to over 150,000 New Zealanders," the organisation's chief executive Martin Taylor said on Tuesday.

Gale admitted that "at certain times and in certain locations" introduced species can prevent a challenge for conservation, but said he was confident with "responsible, well-considered, science-based management" both valued introduced species and native biodiversity could thrive.