New Zealand's Environment Reporting Series: The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand
Many of New Zealand’s indigenous plants and animals are endemic – found nowhere else in the world – and are our national taonga (treasure). New Zealand species make a significant contribution to global biodiversity, which is important for ecosystem processes and resilience, mahinga kai (traditional food gathering), and culture and recreation.
Conservation status is a representation of the threat classification of resident indigenous plant and animal species. The Department of Conservation (DOC) developed the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) to provide a national system that is similar to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List.
We report on four conservation status categories: threatened, at risk, not threatened, and data deficient. Conservation status categories ‘threatened’ and ‘at risk’ are divided into subcategories that provide more information on the species’ threat of extinction classification (adapted from Townsend et al, 2008). Species are classified as ‘data deficient’ if we lack information on the species, making threat classification assessment not possible.