Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


People of all ages are encouraged to look in their backyard this Conservation Week to see how they can help protect and nurture our amazing and unique wildlife.

Date:  12 October 2017

Conservation Week runs from 14–22 October and Community Senior Ranger Annette Grieve says this year the Department of Conservation is trying to get people to convert their love of nature into action.

"We know that 85% of New Zealanders rate conservation as important to them personally*, yet still only about one in 10 have actively helped on a conservation project," she says.

"We want to show people that conservation can be done in your own back yard, gardens and parks. Even small actions make a big difference.

"Our predator-free vision of ridding the country of rats, stoats and possums by 2050 starts in your own backyard. It’s great to see momentum gathering as more communities’ band together to make their own areas predator free."

Local conservationist, Kris Vollebregt is keen to start up a Backyard Trapping programme, targeting rats, stoats and ferrets in urban Wanaka, in collaboration with DOC. Kris is looking for volunteers to assist in the setting up of the programme. If you are interested and/or have skills for organising and monitoring an urban trapping programme, contact Kris Vollebregt at

Check out for other ideas.

Background information 

  • DOC’s partners also get involved in Conservation Week. This includes Genesis, who are encouraging kids to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game. As well as being fun, the game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild, eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators.
  • Toyota New Zealand are also getting involved. Our Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme connects kids with nature and rewards them with medals. Conservation Week marks the launch of our new Kiwi Guardians sites at Blue Pools and Butterfields Wildlife Reserve, building on our existing site at Flat Top Hills near Alexandra.
  • *Engagement figures come from the Survey of New Zealanders 2016.


Annette Grieve, Community Senior Ranger, Central Otago (Wanaka office)
Mobile: +64 27 408 3370

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