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Stamp highlights Fish & Game habitat work

Stamp highlights Fish & Game habitat work


The new Game Bird Habitat Stamp 2014 has been unveiled and highlights the outstanding habitat conservation work being undertaken by hunters.

The stamp (pictured) was painted by Jeanette Blackburn and features the Pukeko with Marlborough’s Para Wetland as the background. Funds from the stamp programme come from the sale of stamps to collectors and the contribution from hunters as part of the game bird hunting licence fee. These funds are collected by the New Zealand Fish & Game Council and transferred to the Game Bird Habitat Trust Board for distribution to worthy habitat projects.

It is significant that the Para Wetland features on the stamp. The Para, New Zealand’s largest remaining lowland wetland, has benefited from funds generated by the habitat stamp and its restoration is well underway.

“This sort of effort illustrates how hunters are playing a vital role in providing habitat for all sorts of birds, and plant life,” says Fish & Game’s South Island communications advisor Andrew Currie.

Today is World Wetlands Day, observed around the world to celebrate wetlands for their environmental values and benefits. This year’s theme being Wetlands & Agriculture: Partners for growth.

“Increasingly New Zealanders are becoming aware of the important role wetlands play in ‘taking care of water,’ helping reduce flooding, recharging groundwater and augmenting flows, and filtering runoff pollution,” says Mr Currie.

He adds that with New Zealand’s dramatic shift towards intensified agriculture, preservation of wetlands through evolving partnerships with the farming community is proving vital.

The stamp programme funds distributed by the Game Bird Habitat Trust has supported many projects on both public and private land. Mr Currie reminds landowners they can apply for grants to enhance or develop wetlands before the end of June each year. Application forms can be found on the Fish & Game website, www.fishandgame.org.nz

“We’re keen to hear from any landowners who want to discuss with Fish & Game the services and help we can offer - ranging from evaluations, costings, resource consent help, and planting recommendations, and the potential for funding through the Game Bird Habitat Trust.”

ENDS

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