29 May 2013

DoC endangered bird teams to merge

11:10 am on 29 May 2013

The Department of Conservation is to merge the teams that protect two of the country's most endangered birds.

The Kakapo and Takahe recovery teams will start working together in September, once the department's restructuring plans are finalised.

DOC says it is a sensible, practical way to share knowledge and resources to support the recovery of both species.

The department's director of delivery review, Barry Hanson says merger will allow teams to share scientific and technical expertise and benefit both kakapo and takahe species.

"The synergies of the two programmes are such that I would describe having them work in one team as an improvement rather than as a step back."

But Forest and Bird advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell says the department and the Conservation Minister have backtracked on a promise to ensure restructuring would not affect endangered species.

"Particularly with the kakapo team, we were told the science component would not be reduced, but this is showing that it is. It's being diluted because those people, those positions, are going to have to now cover two quite demanding species."