The New Zealand government has launched a programme to save the country's national bird, the Kiwi, from becoming extinct, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said on Thursday.Finance Minister Bill English revealed in the annual dudget that the government would invest NZ$11.2 million ($8.21 million) on the Kiwi protection programme, Xinhua reported.
"Wild Kiwi numbers were falling by two percent a year and the bird could be "extinct on the mainland in our grandchildren's lifetimes," Barry said in a statement."The aim of the investment is to turn the two percent decline into an annual increase as soon as possible," said Barry."New zealand's iconic flightless bird, Kiwis, are known across the globe as a symbol of the country. They are a famous and precious taonga (treasure) and integral to our national identity. If we don't take appropriate measures to prevent their extinction, we risk losing the kiwis forever," Barry added.
The Department of Conservation and Kiwis for Kiwi, an independent charitable trust, would run a joint program to allocate money and co-ordinate community conservation projects such as pest trapping and bird monitoring.The funding would also support breeding programme, increased use of predator controls and investigation of new methods of kiwi management.