The Paradise Trust has received an $8000 biodiversity grant -
its first from the Department of Conservation (Doc) - which
could lead to the introduction of the Buff Weka into the
Trust spokeswoman Mandy Groshinski said a successful increase
in the number of feral species removed as a result of the new
traps could allow the flightless bird species, which is
endemic to New Zealand and incredibly rare, to be released in
She said the funding was the beginning of many new and
exciting conservation projects for the 120ha of land near
Glenorchy, protected by the Paradise Trust.
The grant would pay for of 25 new trapping systems per year
over the next three years, up from the existing 10 traps.
The system required the traps to be checked weekly in summer
and fortnightly during the winter months.
The new upgrade would make a flag appear on the traps when
triggered, making them easier to spot and raising awareness
through guests and visiting tourists.
The Paradise Valley was already home to a number of
nationally threatened species including the long-tailed bat
which had been under constant threat from rats, mice, possums
The discovery of the long-tailed bats in Paradise Valley was
particularly important because bats had developed a strong
homing instinct and had been difficult to transfer to other
The presence of the bats' communal roosting areas in Paradise
was vital to Doc and was proven to be a drawcard for visitors
who enjoyed ''bat spotting'' at dusk.
The Paradise Trust was established as the funding machine
behind major restorations and renovations of the Paradise
Homestead and Cottage accommodation, destroyed by fire on May
- Ellie Honeybone