Funding for Great Barrier conservation

  • Maggie Barry

Two community trusts working to protect Great Barrier Island’s nature from predators and weeds have received a $108,000 funding boost, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced.

On a visit to the Glenfern Sanctuary on the island today Ms Barry announced the Kotuku Peninsula and Windy Hill Rosalie Bay Catchment Trusts will be the first groups to benefit from this year’s $4.5 million round of DOC Community Fund grants.

“Both these groups are outstanding examples of what can be achieved by committed people working with DOC and their community to protect a special place,” Ms Barry says.

Through their work they help rare species such as the black and Cooks petrels, pateke and chevron skink, which cannot exist without intensive pest control.

“Great Barrier has an opportunity to work towards Predator Free status and if the island is to achieve that both these groups will be leading the way.”

The Windy Hill Trust receives $76,000. Based in the east of the island, they manage a 620 hectare area with a network of 80km of tracks and 5000 traps.

“Since starting work in 1999 the trust has trapped more than 48,000 rats and this new funding will allow them to increase the size of their sanctuary by 150 hectares and expand their weed and predator control work further.”

The Kotuku Peninsula Trust protects more than 200 hectares of native forest behind a 2km long pest-proof fence, including the Glenfern Sanctuary founded by sailing champion Tony Bouzaid.

$32,000 of funding will help the trust to continue its rat, cat, rabbit and weed control, plant more trees and maintain tracks.

Glenfern itself was recently purchased for the nation by a consortium led by the Government, Auckland Council and Foundation North.

“The sanctuary, and the Kotuku Peninsula as a whole, will become a major visitor drawcard for Great Barrier, helping the island’s economy and protecting its unique environment,” Ms Barry says.