Help our threatened wetlands on World Wetlands Day
New Zealanders are being urged to celebrate World Wetlands Day by doing something practical to help protect wetlands, a habitat crucial to the survival of many of this country’s wildlife species.
Every year, World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February around the globe to raise international awareness about the value of wetlands. The theme this year is “wetlands for a sustainable urban future.”
Unfortunately, despite their importance to wildlife and the environment, wetlands are among the world’s most threatened habitats. In New Zealand, more than 90 percent of our original wetlands have been destroyed.
Fish & Game says New Zealanders can help protect remaining wetlands and rebuild more by buying the latest habitat trust stamp, which is being launched today to mark World Wetlands Day.
“We are asking people to buy the stamp, knowing that modest purchase can potentially make a big difference,” says Fish & Game Policy Manager Robert Sowman.
The money raised from the habitat stamp programme pays for projects which protect and enhance wetlands and other wildlife habitat throughout New Zealand.
These funds have allowed the Game Bird Habitat Trust which distributes the funds to allocate around a hundred thousand dollars a year towards a wide range of habitat projects.
While every game bird hunter buys a habitat stamp when they purchase their hunting licence, Robert Sowman says anyone can buy one.
“The habitat stamps are a great way of helping protect wetlands, so anyone who wants to do their bit for the environment can buy a stamp and be secure in the knowledge the money is going to do good,” he says.
This year’s stamp features the mallard duck from a specially-commissioned painting by Dunedin artist Karen Baddock (wildlife-art.co.nz) who is renowned for her wildlife and landscape works.
Robert Sowman says that as one of New Zealand’s premier game birds, the mallard is perfect candidate for the Habitat Stamp and for this year’s World Wetlands Day theme.
“Mallards are quite at home in lots of urban settings including public parks and gardens – some of which could be classed as ‘urban wetlands.’
The habitat stamp is produced by NZ Post for Fish & Game. The habitat stamp programme is marking its 25th anniversary in 2018.