Te Arai development helping endangered birds
A development at Te
Arai, which opponents claim is threatening endangered
shorebird species, is having a beneficial impact on breeding
and nesting, says the hapu behind the project.
Te Uri o
Hau chief executive Deborah Harding said census data
collected over the breeding season at the adjacent Mangawhai
Wildlife Refuge–an important nesting site of the fairy
tern, New Zealand’s most endangered bird - shows that the
current season has been the most successful since data began
being collected in the early 1990s.
The season saw nine
fairy tern chicks hatch and all survive to fledge, a record
number. In addition, a record nine shorebirds species were
observed nesting in the refuge.
banded||Chicks fledged||MWR Productivity
(chicks fledged per
The results were welcomed by Forest & Bird.
Bird strongly supports Te Uri o Hau’s involvement in the
fairy tern recovery programme, and their trapping work at
Mangawhai and Te Arai over the last winter has significantly
lowered predator numbers at Mangawhai. Fairy tern recovery
will only succeed if we all work together for to protect
this unique taonga,” said Mark Bellingham, Forest &
Bird’s Fairy Tern Project Manager.
Deborah Harding said
Forest & Bird, DoC and volunteers from the Ornithological
Society, Dotterel Care Group, About Tern and the New Zealand
Fairy Tern Charitable Trust, all play a vital role in
protecting the shorebird populations, and have done so for
many years. The good weather is also important.
the single major difference between this breeding season and
past years have been the changes which have occurred at Te
Arai over the past 18 months – where a 616 hectare pine
forest is being transformed into a world class golf course,
Tara-Iti, and small scale development.
“The removal of
150 hectares of pine trees has significantly reduced the
cover for pests and predators – like stoats, rats,
hedgehogs and cats – which threaten the shorebirds in the
immediately adjacent Mangawhai Wildlife Refuge.
development has significantly increased the resources
available for predator control. Last year, $70,000 was
spent to markedly increase the intensity of hunting,
trapping, and poisoning operations, working with DoC and
other volunteer groups, including the Mangawhai Harbour
“This includes a site-wide animal
pest control programme throughout the forest. The
development also funded predator control at the Mangawhai
Wildlife Refuge, and TUOH also obtained funding from the ASB
Community Trust for predator control activities over the
“We have targeted cats, stoats and
weasels, rats, harriers, and removed 29 pigs. The success
of these programmes can be seen in the reducing number of
pests and predators being found and killed, and the much
improved breeding and nesting data.
“What we are doing
at Te Arai is changing the land use from one with very poor
ecological values - a low grade pine forest – to one which
is much better for the environment - very limited
development with considerable native revegetation and the
management of ecological threats. The results show that the
development is having a positive effect. With the continued
resources we will invest in predator control and
revegetation throughout the forest, we expect that these
positive impacts will continue to benefit the threatened
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