Saving New Zealand’s Threatened Frogs From Mining

UPDATE:

The New Zealand government has voted to protect the critically endangered Archey’s Frog and the Hochstetter’s Frog, whose last strongholds were faced with the threat of mining as the Government proposed to remove legal protections from the land.

Thanks to the 1,275 SAVE THE FROGS! supporters who wrote letters to the New Zealand government urging them to protect the frogs. If the government’s plans had gone through, the critically endangered Archey’s Frog (Leiopelma archeyi) frogs would have almost certainly gone extinct.

Below you will find the letter that SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger sent.

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Mr. Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Economic Development
schedule4@med.govt.nz

Dear Mr. Brownlee,
I am writing to urge you to maintain all Schedule 4 protections on New Zealand’s currently protected conservation areas. These wilderness lands received such protection to ensure the long-term survival of New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna, and these lands are the basis on which New Zealand’s outdoor tourism economy is based. Removing the protections from these areas would ensure the extinction of the Archey’s Frog (Leiopelma archeyi), and would cause significant damage to New Zealand’s reputation as a tourist destination of unmatched natural beauty.

The survival of all the earth’s inhabitants depends on healthy ecosystems, and the land the Government is proposing to remove from Schedule 4 has extremely high value for New Zealand wildlife. In particular, New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most threatened frog species, at least one of which would almost certainly go extinct should mining be allowed to take place in their habitat. The Archey’s Frog and Hochstetter’s Frog, both which live on the land in question, have been labeled two of the most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered frog species on the planet. Unfortunately, the Archey’s Frog has lost 88% of its population in the last 14 years, and neither species can be bred in captivity, meaning that the government’s proposal — should it go through — could banish the species to their permanent and premature demise. With one-third of the world’s amphibian species already on the brink of extinction, this would be absolutely unacceptable.

Furthermore, New Zealand has an international reputation as being one of the most beautiful places in the world, and this natural beauty is the source of the tourism industry on which all New Zealander’s depend. Removing Schedule 4 protections from New Zealand’s prime conservation areas would tarnish the country’s image, and cost the nation far more that any short-term gains brought by mining currently protected lands.

Removing the proposed lands’ Schedule 4 protections would be in the worst interest of New Zealand and all its inhabitants. As such, I strongly urge you to act on behalf of New Zealand’s threatened frog species and the long-term future of all New Zealanders: abandon all research into mining the proposed areas, and do not remove Schedule 4 protections from any of the country’s currently listed conservation areas.

Thanks for your consideration.
Dr. Kerry Kriger
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder, Executive Director & Ecologist

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