4 Feb 2011

NZ high on list of lost forests

7:27 am on 4 February 2011

New Zealand has been named as the second worst offender in a list of countries which have lost huge tracts of original forest.

Only Myanmar is reportedly worse than New Zealand and countries often criticised for deforestation - such as China and the Philippines - fare better.

The report is by an American lobby group, Conservation International.

It says only 5% of New Zealand's original forest still exists and dozens of animals and 10 plant species have become extinct in the last 200 years.

The report blames the extinctions on introduced predators, invasive plant species and the destruction of natural habitats.