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Motuihe Island: New island sanctuary welcomed

New island sanctuary welcomed

Today’s announcement by Conservation Minister Chris Carter that Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf is to be restored as a sanctuary has been welcomed by Forest and Bird.

“The hard work of removing pests from Motuihe Island will now pay off. Motuihe Island will join a chain of islands in the Hauraki Gulf that are becoming havens for endangered plants and animals,” said Forest and Bird’s Northern Conservation Officer David Pattemore.

Since 1997, cats, rabbits, rats and mice have been removed from Motuihe Island. This is now enabling the Motuihe Trust, in partnership with the Department of Conservation, to restore the island.

“We welcome proposals to bring native birds, lizards and insects back to the island. We’re particularly excited by the prospect of introducing saddleback (tieke), kakariki and kiwi onto the island in the future,” Mr Pattemore said.

“Today’s news is a reminder of the importance of pest eradication on islands. By getting rid of pests off islands we can create safe havens for native animals and plants that are struggling to survive the onslaught of pests on mainland New Zealand,” he said.

“Forest and Bird encourages Aucklanders to consider ridding Rangitoto and Motutapu of stoats, rats and hedgehogs. These islands would complete the chain of wildlife havens on Auckland’s doorstep,” he said.

“Rangitoto is an iconic feature of Auckland. To have it pest free and able to support thriving populations of native animals would complete the picture,” he said.

“Wellington has a great asset in Matiu-Somes Island which is only twenty minutes from the Central Business District. Matiu-Somes Island is pest free and Forest and Bird’s Lower Hutt branch have worked hard to restore the island. It now has tuatara and kakariki. It would be great to do the same with Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands

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