Rangitoto and Motutapu restoration project wins international honours
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionThe ambitious Rangitoto and Motutapu restoration project has won the Department of Conservation a major international environmental award.
Date: 07 September 2010
The ambitious Rangitoto and Motutapu restoration project has won the Department of Conservation a major international environmental award.
The “Excellence in Parks – Environmental” award was presented to the Department at the Parks Forum conference in Sydney.
“This project will breathe life back into Rangitoto and Motutapu. We’re excited to be creating this sanctuary right on Auckland’s doorstep, and it is very satisfying to see our peers overseas recognise that as well,” says project manager Richard Griffiths.
The $3.5 million dollar programme to remove all imported pests from the islands and create a sanctuary for native birds and plants is one of the most complex island pest-eradication programmes DOC has ever undertaken.
The pest-eradication stage of the project was launched last year. The islands combined are 3,842 hectares, and for five of the seven mammalian pests targeted, this is the largest area ever attempted.
Once complete, the project will increase the amount of pest-free land in New Zealand by 15%.
“It’ll be mid 2011 before the islands can be officially declared pest-free, but the results so far have been impressive,” says Mr Griffiths.
Kakariki are already breeding on Motutapu, and pateke and bellbirds have made their own way back to the island unassisted.
“With summer on the way, we hope visitors will get out and enjoy the islands, and of course check all their gear for stowaway pests before they depart,” says Mr Griffiths.
DOC also picked up the Parks Forum’s Economic Award for its role in establishing and developing the Otago Central Rail Trail.
Note: The Parks Forum is the body for park management organisations, with members across the UK, Australia and New Zealand involved with wilderness and protected areas and parks.
Amy Cameron, Media Officer
Ph: +64 9 307 4846 or 0275 111 222