May 2017
This draft strategy sets out the New Zealand Government’s plan to halt the decline in our threatened species and restore them to healthy populations.


  • Predator Free 2050
    • The springboard for protecting threatened species
    • The Strategy
  • A land apart
    • Our unique New Zealand
    • Trouble in paradise
    • The state of our species
    • We're all part of the solution
  • A call to action
    • Foundations for recovery
    • The right tools for the job
  • The plan of attack
    • Setting goals
    • 150 priority species
    • Strategic themes
    • Top 10 actions
  • We can win this
    • 150 priority threatened and at risk species


This draft Threatened Species Strategy sets out the New Zealand Government’s plan to halt the decline in our threatened species and restore them to healthy populations. Building on existing commitments and programmes, the Strategy identifies further steps we need to take not only to restore those species that are already at risk of extinction, but also to prevent others from becoming threatened. We invite all New Zealanders to be a part of that effort.


This Threatened Species Strategy aims to safeguard our vulnerable threatened species. It establishes some clear goals for increasing the number of threatened species we are working on, and prioritises some threatened and at risk species1 for intensive management to set them on a path to recovery by 2025.

The growth of existing national initiatives including Predator Free 2050, Battle for our Birds and War on Weeds are at the heart of achieving this vision. Support and contributions through partnerships with local and regional councils, philanthropists, communities, landowners, researchers and others will be essential. Everyone has a responsibility and a role to play in protecting our  species.

This Strategy is underpinned by an ethic of partnership between government agencies and Māori. Iwi are the indigenous kaitiaki or guardians of the natural world (Te Ao Tūroa), including the plants, animals and fungi of New Zealand. The recovery of our treasured species provides our Treaty partners with an opportunity to fulfil that role.


This Strategy is based on five themes necessary to significantly progress threatened species conservation: 

  • Uniting against invaders on a landscape scale
  • Managing ecosystems at scale to protect species
  • Building our science and knowledge base
  • Focusing beyond public conservation land
  • Working together in partnerships


To achieve the vision and assess our progress we will:

  1. Manage 500 species for protection by 2025 – a 40% increase on today – and 600 species for protection by 2030.
  2. Enhance the populations of 150 prioritised threatened and at risk species by 2025.
  3. Integrate Te Ao Māori (the Māori world view) and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) into species recovery programmes by 2025.
  4. Support research, particularly through the National Science Challenges, that helps us to better understand data deficient species.

1 Species categorised as ‘Threatened’ (Nationally Critical, Nationally Endangered or Nationally Vulnerable) or ‘At Risk’ (Declining, Recovering, Relict or Naturally Uncommon) under the New Zealand Threat Classification System 2008.

How the 150 priority species were selected

View information on the Strategy released under the OIA.

Threatened Species Strategy algorithm

Our Planning Monitoring and Reporting team worked with specialists to determine which threatened taxa DOC should monitor. We developed an algorithm that identified the priority taxa to include in the draft Threatened Species Strategy.

View the Threatened taxa selection algorithm.

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