How many species has Tongariro National Park lost because of alien species?



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    It is difficult to find an exact answer to this question, and part of the reason why is because all of New Zealand, not just Tongariro National Park, is essentially under siege from invasive species. Several species of rare plants that grow in Tongariro are expected to become extinct soon, including climbing bonbon, Chatham Island toetoe, peppercress, spider orchid, Poor Knights spleenwort, a wetland grass called Amphibromus fluitans, and an herb called Sebaea ovata. Most of the threats come from invasive weeds, but animal invaders are also a problem.  There are few vertebrate animals left in Tongariro National Park due to possums and other predators that were deliberately introduced into New Zealand in the 19th and 20th centuries. Numerous governmental and private organization task forces in New Zealand are attempting to deal with the problems of invasive species, but, as almost everything else related to conservation, the type of large-scale effort that would be needed to really control the problem is beyond the budget resources of most organizations.

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