PRESS RELEASE: Department of Conservation (DOC)
A project to protect native species and enhance the landscape of Cape Foulwind in Buller will be boosted by support from the DOC Community Fund, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has announced.
In Westport on Friday, Ms Sage met with the Buller Conservation Volunteers group to officially announce they have received a $34,500 grant from the DOC Community Fund for a project based at Tauranga Bay.
With native replanting, predator and weed control, the Tauranga Koko Mātārae Project seeks to restore the bay’s northern headland to how it would have looked when first seen by Captain Cook and his crew in 1770.
“Through this new funding the group will be able to continue with their revegetation and weed control programme and work towards their aim of making the headland predator free with a network of 40 traps,” Ms Sage says.
“Blue penguins, western weka and sooty shearwaters will be encouraged to nest at the site, with plans to reintroduce skinks and geckoes. A boardwalk will be built for easier access over the wetlands. It will provide additional protection for the Charleston gentian, a nationally critical threatened plant, once reduced to fewer than 40 specimens in the wild.”
The project will also complement the experience on the Cape Foulwind Walkway, one of DOC’s Great Short Walks, which passes through Tauranga Bay.
“The Buller Conservation Volunteers are a dedicated small group who have been meeting every second Tuesday for over a decade and undertaken several other projects on conservation land in the Buller District with support from DOC,” Ms Sage says.
“I welcome their and other New Zealanders’ efforts to protect our native plants and wildlife and the places they live. Such community initiatives are vital for conservation.
This latest DOC Community Fund funding round has granted 112 conservation groups around the country a total of $4.215 million.