Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the Department of Conservation is “absolutely committed” to saving endangered species.
The Department of Conservation has no recovery plan for nearly 600 endangered or critically endangered native plants and animals, official documents show.
Only 84 “nationally critical or nationally endangered species” currently had species recovery plans, according to official advice prepared by DOC for the local government and environment select committee.
There were 569 endangered species that had no planned programme of work to halt their decline.
Green Party MP Eugenie Sage says the Government is not doing enough to protect endangered species.
But Conservation Minister Maggie Barry rejected the department was not across the management of endangered species.
She said the answers given by DOC to questions asked by the committee applied to certain plans around individual species, but there were a number of plans that covered groupings of species – or “taxa” (taxonomic units).
Barry said 49 recovery plans, covering 198 taxa, were active this year.
The department kept “very close tabs” on species like kiwi and Maui’s dolphin.
“Others that are not as endangered in some areas have other approaches. But our threat classification system is based on the taxa and we’ve been very precise around that.
“There is no willingness or effort that will be spared – we are absolutely committed to ensuring our threatened species are monitored and that we know what is happening,” said Barry.
Green MP Eugenie Sage said the data showed the Government was failing to invest adequately in conservation.
DOC did not know what the state of New Zealand’s biodiversity was, because it did not adequately monitor species.
“A Threatened Species Ambassador is not enough to save our threatened species when DOC is unable to fund robust monitoring of a raft of threatened species to understand the size and health of their populations; and the extent to which they are continuing to decline.”