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Threatened Species Benefit From Funding Boost

27 March 2008

Threatened Species Benefit From Funding Boost

Projects involving blue penguins, yellow-eyed penguin, kokako, protection of coastal seabird habitat, and kowhai and kanuka forest restoration are just some of the projects throughout the country which will benefit from the latest funding round of the National Biodiversity Funds.

Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick and Environment Minister Trevor Mallard today announced that nearly $2 million will be made available to 83 projects working to protect biodiversity on private land as a result of the allocations.

“The grants are a way for the Government to acknowledge and assist Councils and landowners, recognising the important contribution they are making to protecting New Zealand’s biodiversity”, Steve Chadwick said.

The Biodiversity Funds were established in 2001 to assist landowners in protecting indigenous biodiversity on private land. There will be a further funding round announced in May this year.

The Ministers acknowledged that all these projects also involved significant landowner and community contributions through voluntary labour and services with further in kind and cash contributions to the projects of $2,368,863, giving a total of over $4million being spent on Biodiversity protection on private land.

“This fund has been a major success because it has worked so well with private landowners all trying to make a difference on their patch of land, as well as supporting councils and community groups. Since it started in 2001, this Fund, which is a voluntary one, has pumped over $18 million into protection on private land and has at least 500 partnerships with private landowners”, Trevor Mallard said

Given the private sector contributions, the fund has helped support over $30million worth of work in protecting biodiversity on at least 300,000 hectares of private land in New Zealand.

Northland received $94,901 with eight projects. One of the projects is the Ross weland and bush protection project, east of Whangarei which will assist in fencing off valuable areas of bush and wetland.

Auckland received $196,896 with nine projects. Six of these projects involve forest protection schemes being done by community groups on Great Barrier Island.

Waikato received $285,988 covering five projects. This includes support for the visionary Maungatautari restoration project with a grant to assist in the removal of animal pests.

Tongariro/Taupo received $27,188 for one project. This is targeted at weed control over 35ha of willow infestation in wetland known as Waihaha wetland.

Bay of Plenty received $34,000 covering two projects. One especially interesting one is called “growing the kokako community” and involves working with adjacent landowners to the Kaharoa Conservation Area. Protection measures have been so successful that kokako are spilling out into neighbouring properties and the project is working with these landowners on appropriate management options.

East Coast/Hawkes Bay received $151,076 for seven projects. One project involves a partnership with the community to undertake the restoration of the Te Wherowhero Lagoon. The project will see 20,000 plants planted over three years to support the long term restoration of the Lagoon and to a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Wanganui received $107,222 covering four projects. One of the projects is to assist the restoration of privately-owned dunes on the Taranaki Coast. The nine hectare area will see over 20,000 plants planted by volunteers over the next three years to restore the dunes.

Wellington received $225,505 for ten projects. One of the projects is to assist the restoration and protection of O Te Pua Wetland, just north of Otaki on the Kapiti Coast. Six of the ten projects are for Chatham Island projects, which all have high ecological values and will enable stock to be excluded from these vulnerable sites.

Nelson/Marlborough received $246,115 for twelve projects. One of the projects is to assist with the restoration and protection of 16 hectares of wetland and dry slopes.

Canterbury received $221,736 for ten projects. One of the projects involves building a fence of over 700 metres to protect two hectares of kanuka forest in North Canterbury.

West Coast received $117,084 for five projects. This includes further support for the West Coast Blue Penguin trust who are doing sterling work with predator control programmes stretching from the Haast to Karamea.

Otago: received $182,905 for four projects, including the Blueskin farm restoration project, involving assisting landowners with fencing costs to protect podocarp/broadleafed forest and riparian margins.

Southland received $76,139 covering six projects including the fencing of the Napper podocarp forest at woodlands.


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