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WWF Habitat Protection Fund

Conservation Projects Funded Through Habitat Protection Fund

This week, WWF-New Zealand funded four new conservation projects through the Habitat Protection Fund. The Habitat Protection Fund is an initiative sponsored by the Tindall Foundation and managed by WWF-New Zealand. Since WWF became manager of the Fund in September 1999, 15 conservation projects have been funded. The recipients of this funding round were the Russell kiwi Recovery Project, the Matiu/Somes Island Revegetation Project, Trees for Survival Trust 2001, and the Coromandel Pohutakawa Festival.

The Habitat Protection Fund was formed by the Tindall Foundation to encourage and promote the conservation of New Zealand’s natural environment. The Fund provides around $40,000 per quarter to fund local community groups working to protect areas of high conservation significance. Funding priority is given to projects which involve the restoration and conservation of critical habitats and traditional indigenous species; the promotion of environmental education; raising awareness and understanding of conservation issues; and creating opportunities for employment and community development.

The Russell Peninsular Kiwi Recovery Project was one of the recipients of the latest Habitat Protection funding round. Jacqui Knight of Enterprise Russell says the funding will help them to reach their goal of eradicating 99.9% of predators on Russell Peninsular, and to control the remaining predators. "It's great for kiwi, but also for other native species - we hope we can bring back the pohutakawa and other native flora and fauna as well," Ms Knight says. "It's great to have funding and we're very excited for the the project and for the Russell community. A lot of people think that environmental issues are quite separate from development, but this project proves that there are ways to link the two."

WWF Conservation Director Eric Pyle says that WWF has been getting a steady stream of applications for Habitat Protection funding. "We're really happy with the amount of interest the Habitat Protection Fund has generated. It's encouraging to see so many great conservation projects, and to have the opportunity to support some of them."

Among other projects given funding this year: a wetland restoration project in Marahau, a weka release project at Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kaipatiki Urban Stream and Corridor Restoration Project and a pest removal project on Great Barrier Island in preparation for native bird release.

The Habitat Protection fund is a contestable fund, with four funding rounds each year. The next funding round is in February 2000. Payments are typically between $2,000 and $15,000, and total funding for each quarter totals approximately $40,000. For more information please contact Jo Anderson (04) 499 2930.

For further information contact Communications Manager Anna Thomson at anna.thomson@wwf.org.nz or on (025) 285 2602.

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