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NZ Nature Fund Raises $30,000 To Help Save Critically Endangered Native Bird

More than $30,000 has been raised to help save the critically endangered tūturuatu/tchūriwat’/shore plover at a recent charity event near Queenstown.

Gibbston’s Kinross Winery and Hawkshead Wine last week raised the money for the New Zealand Nature Fund (NZNF), a conservation philanthropy organisation set up to help support regeneration and restoration of native biodiversity.

Hosting a spring banquet at Kinross, guests bid at auction for items that were generously donated by local businesses in support of the birds.

The survival of the tūturuatu – which inhabits beaches and wave forms on predator-free islands – depends on keeping their sanctuaries pest-free, captive breeding and translocations to predator-free locations.

NZNF founding trustee Denis Marshall says: “If these birds are lost there will be nothing like them left on the planet. Current work is undertaken by the Department of Conservation and captive breeding sanctuaries, but the programme requires extensive support to ensure the re-introduction phase is successful.

“This fundraiser was immensely successful, but there is so much more to do to support our critically endangered species, and we would love to see more donations small or large to help continue the work at hand.”

Recently retired Director-General of Conservation, Lou Sanson, spoke at the event. He explained that species restoration was at a critical point with the shore plover, with additional annual funding required to ensure ongoing success of the breeding and re-wilding of the birds: “With only 263 mature individuals left, the shore plover has a similar population to the kākāpō and is more at risk than the takahē, kiwi, or kōkako.”

Marshall, a former Minister for Conservation, lives in Gibbston with his partner Ulrike Kurenbach. Their Hawkshead wine also featured as an auction prize, with magnums illustrated with bespoke Hannah Shand artworks on each. Other kindly donated items for the charity auction included: a gourmet dining experience at Minaret Station, a Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony Experience, artwork from Hannah Shand and a Boutique Vineyard Hotel stay at Kinross.

For more information, interest in volunteering time or donations please go to www.naturefund.org or contact Denis Marshall at info@nznaturefund.org

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