Four ambitious conservation projects in Otago have received $263,000 in support from the DOC Community Fund, Conservation Ministers Maggie Barry and Nicky Wagner have announced.

The projects range from restoring wetland of ecological value to eradicating pests, the Ministers say.

“Each of the groups is playing an important role in protecting threatened bird species and enhancing ecosystems around the Otago Peninsula,” Ms Barry says.

“If we are going to achieve our Predator Free vision by 2050, supporting community conservation work of this kind is absolutely vital. We need the whole country to get behind the effort and it’s excellent to see so much going on at a local level.

Minister Wagner says the projects will be a great boost to Otago’s conservation efforts.

“It’s exciting to see local communities and organisations take on these bold projects to remove pests and protect biodiversity in their area. Projects like these and across the country will help to encourage other local groups to start conservation efforts,” Ms Wagner says.

The four groups are:

  • Landscape Connections Trust - $40,000 for extending the Halo Project to response to the invasive mammalian pests, which are threatening habitat of the threatened bird species spilling over from the fenced Orokonui Ecosanctuary into the wider landscape.
  • Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Trust (OPBG) - $98,000 to continue a successful possum control programme on an area of 9,500ha spanning public and private land, farmland, bush patches, significant crown conservation land, schools, and suburbs from Taiaroa Head to the rural fringes of Dunedin's Eastern suburbs. 
  • Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust - $80,000 for restoring a wetland of special ecological value adjacent to and including threatened species habitat in Coastal Otago.
  • Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu - $45,000 to engage a suitably qualified/experienced person to carry out management at Katiki Reserve, and to train/up-skill in wildlife management and conservation.

In total, the DOC Community Fund will distribute more than $4 million in 2016-17 to organisations ranging from small community groups working across a single site to national partnerships.

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