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$60,000 for Abel Tasman Park conservation work

$60,000 for Abel Tasman Park conservation work

The Government is providing $60,000 from the Community Conservation Partnership Fund to the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust to support its work in removing wilding conifer in the Abel Tasman Park and translocating the saddleback (tieke) to the Park's Adele Island, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“Abel Tasman is a globally recognised National Park and the enhancement enabled by these grants will make it an even better place for visitors to enjoy some of the best our great outdoors has to offer,” Dr Smith says.

“The Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust has been running a wilding conifer eradication programme for the past four years in partnership with the Department of Conservation, and is supported by additional funding from the Trust’s commercial partners and Project Janszoon. The funding announced today will enable the Trust to complete this programme,” Dr Smith says.

Wilding conifer, also known as wilding pine, is an invasive tree species. The Trust’s eradication programme is part of its vision that in 25 years, there will be no wilding conifer left growing inside Abel Tasman Park.

Dr Smith made the announcement at Adele Island in Abel Tasman Park, where he also attended the release of the first group of saddleback (tieke) from Motuara Island in the Marlborough Islands. This translocation project, which will involve the release of 40 birds in total, received another $7500 Community Conservation Partnership Fund grant.

“I am also pleased to see this release of the saddleback on Adele Island today. These birds are extinct on the mainland and now only exist on predator-free islands. Adele Island was declared predator-free in 2009, and today is yet another important step forward in restoring the island’s biodiversity. It is my hope that the saddleback has a similar future to the South Island robin (toutouwai), which was successfully reintroduced in 2009. Robin are now abundant on the island,” Dr Smith says.

The Community Conservation Partnership Fund was announced in March this year and provides $26 million over the next four years to community organisations undertaking natural heritage and recreation projects. The Fund will support hundreds of projects on public and private land and is particularly focused on supporting efforts to protect biodiversity, natural habitats and native species.

“I also congratulate the Abel Tasman Trust, which has been working together with the Department, local tourist operators and other businesses on their ongoing work in enhancing the Abel Tasman National Park. This type of collaborative approach reflects the spirit of the Community Conservation Partnership Fund, which seeks to encourage greater community involvement in conservation,” Dr Smith concluded.


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