Restoring nature alongside the Great Walks
Air New Zealand invests in large biodiversity projects alongside the Great Walks network – enabling over 38,000 ha of sustained pest control and the return of native birdsong to these special places.
This expansion of pest trapping networks means we’re able to create safer places for taonga species such as whio, takahē, kiwi, rock wren, kea, kākā, south island robin and many other forest birds.
The partnership also funds species management projects including bird surveys and health checks; translocations to grow populations of rare birds and remote sensor trail cameras and acoustic recorders to understand how the health of the area is being restored.
The partnership funds goat control across 2,000 hectares and invasive weed control targeting tutsan, spanish heath, brush wattle and Japanese walnut across approximately 1,700 hectares.
Monthly pest control targeting possums and rodents is also undertaken, covering 64 hectares aound visitor campsites.
Abel Tasman Coast Track
An extensive trapping network covers over 80% of Abel Tasman National Park thanks to the collaborative efforts of DOC, Project Janszoon, Air New Zealand and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust.
The DOC/Air New Zealand partnership focuses on the northern end of the park around Totaranui, funding two self-resetting trap networks which target rats and stoats. Acoustic monitors which capture birdsong over time are also deployed to gather data on bird populations. Wasp control is also carried out along the track and campsites in the years when wasp densities are high.
The Heaphy Track is home to takahē, great spotted kiwi and whio, all of which are classified as ‘nationally vulnerable’ in New Zealand’s threat classification system.
Funded through the partnership, a trapping network targeting stoats and rats covers more than 6,400 hectares around the Gouland Downs area to protect a newly established wild takahē population. The establishment of a new wild population of takahē in the area is a New Zealand conservation milestone, and was supported by Air New Zealand with a special charter flight to transport the birds from the Burwood Takahē Centre.
Biodiversity on the most recent Great Walk will benefit from an additional 12,000+ hectares of trapping around the Paparoa Track. This trapping will protect populations of great spotted kiwi and whio present in the area.
Partnership funding is also enabling alpine field surveys, some in places which have not been surveyed for over 20 years.
The Routeburn Track is home to several species under threat, including whio, mohua and rock wren.
Trapping networks have been extended across 7500 hectares to help boost these species chances of recovery. Sightings of whio by walkers are now common along the Routeburn Track.
Trapping across an additional 9300+ hectares is possible thanks to the efforts of this partnership. Pest control supports recovery for several threatened species here including whio, pāteke, kākā, kea, kiwi, short-tailed bats and several species of forest dwelling birds.
The partnership has also supported several translocations of pāteke and whio into the Clinton and Arthur valleys, since 2012. Remote acoustic monitors, trail sensor cameras and distance sampling methods are deployed throughout the year, gathering data to understand effectiveness and what further efforts are needed.
Supporting marine science for the health of our oceans
With 80% of New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity estimated to be underwater in the marine environment, it’s crucial that we learn more to care for these precious habitats. As kiwis, we are lucky to be surrounded by endless coastline, and we all want healthy oceans that we can swim in, gather kaimoana from and be proud of.
The partnership with Air New Zealand enables a number of collaborative marine science projects, including DOC’s Ecological Integrity and Sentinel Site programmes.
Supporting threatened species recovery
Air New Zealand transports some of New Zealand’s most endangered species (birds, reptiles and invertebrates) and Conservation Dogs as part of active recovery programmes. Species are transported for genetic and population management, to treat illness and to establish new populations at safe breeding sites.
Air New Zealand has provided free flights for more than 3,200 species and Conservation Dogs since the partnership began in 2012.
Air New Zealand also supports DOC's Threatened Species Ambassador Nic Toki to help raise awareness for our threatened native plants and animals. With this support Nic can inspire New Zealanders about nature and the plight of our threatened species.
Air New Zealand Greenteam
The Air New Zealand Greenteam is made up of approximately 2,500 Air New Zealand staff who together with their families, volunteer on community conservation projects around New Zealand every month.
Air New Zealand Greenteam members help restoration work at Apple Tree Bay, Abel Tasman National Park