Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed the opening today of the new Wildbase wildlife hospital in Palmerston North.
“I congratulate Massey University on this thoroughly modern and fit for purpose new facility which will provide the next generation of conservation care,” Ms Barry says.
“Past and present Massey staff and students have made an enormous contribution in the 15 years since a Wildbase Hospital was first established. They started with 50 patients in 2001 and that grew to 317 last year - a 534% increase which gives us an idea of the high demand for the quality care they’ve provided.”
“From my original tour of the hospital in 2015 it was clear how much this new larger facility was needed. Half the animals they treat are threatened or endangered species.”
“Wildbase was then and remains the only dedicated wildlife hospital in New Zealand. Staff and vet students treat and actively assist their patients return to the wild as quickly as possible.”
“It is also an example of a strong working partnership between the university, business, community groups and individuals to have funded the upgrade. That reflects the Government’s belief that no single entity can do it alone and growing conservation is a joint responsibility.”
Local National MP and former Manawatu District mayor Ian McKelvie opened the new facility on my behalf earlier today.
“Wildbase is indeed an outstanding world class organisation fully deserving of this fantastic new facility and the country is fortunate to have it,” Ms Barry says.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has today installed the first of 1,200 new stoat traps in Rimutaka Forest Park east of Wellington.
“Volunteer groups will check the traps and manage the new predator control scheme, which more than doubles the current safe-zone for kiwi to 7,000 ha,” Ms Barry says.
“This is Predator Free 2050 in action. Joining forces with the community enables us to achieve big wins together, such as reversing kiwi decline in the wild.”
“Rimutaka Forest Park Trust and MOA Conservation Trust members already check 90 kilometres of trap lines in the rugged hill country. We are thrilled to be growing the trap network – and the protection for kiwi.”
The extended area crosses the popular Catchpool and Orongorongo valleys which welcome more than 30,000 visitors a year.
“Stoats are now considered ‘public enemy number one’ for New Zealand birds. Killing of young kiwi, mainly by stoats, is the most significant factor contributing to the decline of mainland kiwi populations,” Ms Barry says.
The 1,200 new traps designed by Wellington company Goodnature utilise the latest lure technology.
The self-resetting traps have been funded by Department of Conservation.
“They automatically reset after each kill and pump out fresh lure, reducing work for volunteers,” Ms Barry says.
“New Zealand is a world leader in conservation technology and research. The Government is focusing on developing breakthrough techniques and is supporting Goodnature and others to ensure we have the right tools to make Predator Free 2050 a reality.”
“Native birds such as kaka are expanding from Wellington – a safe haven in the Rimutaka will provide a network of protection alongside Zealandia and Kapiti Island.”
Volunteer work to protect the Wellington region’s special places from weeds, pests and predators will receive a valuable boost through the DOC Community Fund, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.
Six groups from across the region will receive more than $124,000 in grants this year.
“Community conservation is an essential part of protecting our nation’s natural beauty and we are committed to supporting them through the DOC Community Fund,” Ms Barry says.
“From the rugged hills of Wellington’s south coast to the dunes of Castlepoint, these groups are making an immediate and positive difference to the War on Weeds and our ongoing fight against predators.”
Ms Barry made the announcement on a visit to the Rimutaka Forest Park outside Lower Hutt today, where dedicated community work has helped to create a safe habitat for kiwi close to the capital city.
In addition to the regional grants, the Wellington-based Endangered Species Foundation of New Zealand will receive $40,000 for its nationwide Ambassador Club, a funding and awareness-raising network.
“This support will enable the Foundation to continue to raise its funding base and expand its work advocating for lesser-known, remarkable New Zealand native species, such as the Chesterfield skink.”
The groups to receive funding are:
- Wellington Natural Heritage Trust - $38,000 to support restoration of the Long Gully Bush Reserve in Karori, targeting weeds and invasive pests
- Brooklyn Trail Builders - $10,000 for pest control work on the Hawkins Hill trails, south of the Brooklyn wind turbine
- Castlepoint Ratepayers & Residents Association and Te Hika a Papauma - $33,000 to help set up a native plant nursery to grow spinifex and pingao for replanting at Castlepoint in the Wairarapa
- Aorangi Restoration Trust - $20,000 to develop an ongoing plan for restoration of the Aorangi Forest Park near Martinborough
- Whareroa Guardians Community Trust - $15,000 for wetland protection at the Whareroa Farm Reserve, Paekakariki
- Kotukutuku Ecological Restoration Project - $8700 for predator control work in native forest on private land near Paraparaumu.
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 partnersh
Four ambitious conservation projects in Gisborne have received $78,000 in support from the DOC Community Fund, Conservation Ministers Maggie Barry and Nicky Wagner have announced.Read more