INDEPENDENT NEWS

Biodiversity Strategy Funding

Published: Thu 8 Jun 2000 11:54 AM
BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY FUNDING - KIWI SANCTUARIES
Strict embargo for automatic release 10.45am Thursday 8 June 2000
The Government will spend an extra $10 million on the Kiwi Recovery Programme - creating five kiwi sanctuaries across the country with funding secured for the next five years. This funding is part of a comprehensive five-year package involving conservation, environment, fisheries and biosecurity, confirmed in this year's Budget to support the Government's Biodiversity Strategy. It links to the strategy's goal to halt the decline in New Zealand's biodiversity and will also support the government's strategic goal of protecting and enhancing the environment.
The project
The project is to enhance the Kiwi Recovery Programme by intensively managing kiwi at five new sanctuaries in order to reduce decline on the mainland. Sanctuaries are planned for:
• Haast - an area of around 18,000 hectares to protect Haast tokoeka
• Okarito - an area of around 12,000 hectares to protect Okarito brown kiwi
• Coromandel - an area of around 8500 hectares to protect North Island brown kiwi
• Northland - a number of small forest patches from Bream Head to Motatau totalling about 2000 hectares to protect North Island brown kiwi.
• An area of the western North Island - to protect North Island brown kiwi.
Under threat
Declining numbers have seen the kiwi on the mainland reduced to about 50,000 birds. Scientific assessments have shown that most kiwi populations on the mainland are halving every decade. At this rate of decline, many populations on the mainland will effectively be extinct within 20 years.
Kiwi are no longer able to successfully replace themselves on the mainland as many eggs are eaten by possums and 95% of chicks die in their first six months, mainly killed by stoats and cats. Many adult birds are killed by ferrets and dogs.
Actions
An enhanced Kiwi Recovery Programme will help to ensure kiwi populations are retained on the mainland. The five sanctuaries proposed for intensive management will enable more New Zealanders to hear or see their national bird in its natural habitat.
Work to protect kiwi within the sanctuaries will include:
• Extensive pest control of possums, stoats, dogs, cats and ferrets
• Removing eggs from nests and raising chicks - Operation Nest Egg
• Transferring chicks to predator-free nursery ground islands
• Capture and radio-tagging of birds
• Advocacy programmes with local communities
• Research
Community partnerships
The sanctuaries include many opportunities for the Department of Conservation (DOC) to work in partnership with tangata whenua, private landowners and communities in helping maintain kiwi populations. Already there are active partnerships such as Bank of New Zealand and Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society working together with DOC on the Kiwi Recovery Programme through a sponsorship arrangement, administered through the Threatened Species Trust.
Funding package details
All figures in $m, GST inclusive.
2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 Total
$2.336 $1.789 $1.770 $1.718 $2.371 $9.984
For further information, please refer to http://www.biodiv.govt.nz

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