Can we save our most-endangered species?

  • 29/10/2015
Can we save our most-endangered species?

The Maui dolphin tops a new list of our most endangered species, with as few as 48 of the mammals remaining.

But they're not the only species edging towards extinction, in fact, there are 4000 of them.

"There's a big waiting list on the cliff edge, so to speak," says Grant Leach of the newly established Endangered Species Foundation.

Not all the species are as high profile as the Maui's dolphin, but every species is important, says Mr Leach.

"There are many what we call glamorous species that are endangered and there's what we call the not so glamorous, and what we've done is we've looked at those that are the rarest of rare and said 'what are the most vulnerable native species in New Zealand?' And unfortunately they might not be the most attractive or appealing but what we've done is said it all matters in the end."

Mr Leach says the two main causes of extinction are exotic pests and reduction of habitat.

"What we must appreciate is there is natural attrition and there is probably highly human-influenced attrition. What we're doing is we're preventing, and our focus is to prevent any more [extinction]."

Watch the video for the full interview with Grant Leach.