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Major boost for Otago conservation projects

Hon Nicky Wagner

Associate Minister of Conservation

27 August 2014 Media Statement
Major boost for Otago conservation projects

Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner today announced $475,000 in funding for four Otago conservation projects.

Community Conservation Partnership Fund grants will be made to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary, Landscape Connections Trust, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, and Herbert Heritage Group.

“The projects these groups are advancing align perfectly with the Department of Conservation’s goals of connecting more urban dwellers to conservation and working in partnership with others.

“The Orokonui Ecosanctuary is recognised as the flagship biodiversity project in the South Island and is achieving its aim of restoring the coastal ecosystem to pre-human state.

“I commend the foresight of the Landscape Connections Trust for its exciting project and for involving so many in the community.

“The Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group has been passionately protecting the peninsula’s biodiversity through its ambitious plans to reduce possums to zero density, and I’m excited about the next phase.

“I also applaud the Herbert Heritage Group for seizing the initiative and embarking on a mission to restore the area at and around the Waianakarua River Mouth,” Ms Wagner says.

- The Orokonui Ecosanctuary will receive $278,000 over three years for weed control, re-vegetation, pest monitoring and control, biodiversity reintroductions, and fence monitoring and maintenance.

- The Landscape Connections Trust will receive $52,000 over two years to restore and enhance 55,000 hectares of East Otago landscape surrounding Orokonui Ecosanctuary through its Beyond Orokonui – Enhancing Biodiversity across North Dunedin and East Otago Project. It will provide information on the distribution of forest and wetland birds and their habitat requirements within the project area, and enable a landowner liaison programme.

- The Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group will receive $136,000 over two years for possum control on 4,500 hectares of the peninsula.

- The Herbert Heritage Group will receive $9,000 over three years for restoration and enhancement of the Waianakarua River in North Otago. This grant will allow further work on the Waianakarua River Mouth Wetlands Development Project.

The Community Conservation Partnership Fund provides $26 million over four years to community organisations undertaking natural heritage and recreation projects.

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