Ducks Unlimited NZ
Friday, 23 February 2018 21:18

Special treatment for Egmont National Park

Written by Peter Russell.
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Freedom: Whio group at Egmont National Park. Freedom: Whio group at Egmont National Park. Peter Russell

Project Taranaki Mounga, a ten year $24 million project involving pest eradication and reintroduction of species over the 34,000ha of Egmont National Park was last December given the green light with a funding commitment by the NEXT Foundation. 

Local philanthropic organisation the NEXT Foundation announced it would invest up to $15 million in the restoration of Taranaki’s native ecology. The Foundation has committed to funding Project Taranaki Mounga, a 10 year project involving pest eradication and reintroduction of species in Egmont National Park.

The venture between the NEXT, DOC, iwi, and the Taranaki community will begin with pest and weed control and the ecological restoration of Egmont National Park and a small number of volcanic peaks and offshore islands. NEXT and DOC have committed to funding the first phase of 18 months with strong interest from other parties. DOC has committed just over  $1.6 million for the first phase.

Work will start on phase one this February and  during the 18 months the project intends to:

  • complete a goat eradication feasibility  plan;
  • develop a translocation strategy for black  petrel; pateke, kaka, kakariki, takahe, kokako and short tailed bats;
  • develop a pest reinvasion monitoring regime;
  • extend the predator trapping network to protect birds particularly whio and kiwi.
  • translocate North Island robin into the park.

DOC Director General Lou Sanson said he was thrilled Project Taranaki Mounga has been given a green light with the commitment of funding from the NEXT Foundation.

“Project Taranaki Mounga has been recognised  as one of the next big exciting and bold conservation ventures,” said Lou Sanson.

The project’s vision is to protect our mountain for our wellbeing – Ko Taranaki tooku whakaruruhau.

“Given the strong Iwi connection and Whakapapa to Taranaki Mounga, Iwi are a critical partner in the successful delivery of this project.

Lou said the project will create a legacy of cultural, environmental and economic benefits for generations to come.

“Healthy flourishing ecosystems will sustain the quality and abundance of freshwater underpinning the Taranaki economy which adds to New Zealand’s image, and showcases this country’s leadership in pest eradication.

“It’s exciting knowing lessons learnt in Taranaki will be able to be transferred to even larger landscapes when successful,” said Lou.

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