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Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 14 April 2009 Referencing Hub media
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Dr Peter Buchanan, of Landcare Research NZ Ltd, talks about the particular dilemmas faced in conserving native fungi. While many of our fungi are endangered, they also cause disease, sometimes on rare plants. How do scientists decide what to save?

Transcript

DR PETER BUCHANAN
We have a strong concern in New Zealand about conservation of our native plants, animals, fungi. We are very concerned that we conserve what we have. We know we have already lost 75% of the forest of New Zealand, and we've lost a lot of organisms that lived in that 75%. But we now need to protect as much as we can, and in fact in almost all cases, there are very, very small things that are important in how our whole ecosystem operates. So the Department of Conservation has a list of what is threatened in New Zealand – the so-called nationally critical species – and about 1 in 8 are fungi. And because of the huge numbers of these fungi, insects and others, we have to basically try to preserve whole ecosystems and their entire contents.

Acknowledgements:
Jason Clark, Crown Copyright. Department of Conservation. 2009
G.M. Crowcroft, Crown Copyright. Department of Conservation. 2009
W.Dorflinger, Crown Copyright. Department of Conservation. 2009
Ross Henderson, Crown Copyright. Department of Conservation. 2009
Landcare Research New Zealand Limited
B.McKinlay, Crown Copyright. Department of Conservation. 2009
John Megahan, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/
A.K. Munn, Crown Copyright. Department of Conservation. 2009
C.D. Roderick, Crown Copyright. Department of Conservation. 2009
Dick Veitch, Crown Copyright. Department of Conservation. 2009