Conservation Week begins

Community groups are getting the public involved in protecting the natural environment and native species in Dunedin.

The 50th annual Conservation Week started yesterday and runs until Sunday.

It is organised by the Department of Conservation.

The main department-sponsored event in Dunedin is an Otago Museum exhibition, running all week, to commemorate 50 years of the celebrations.

It will showcase the work of community-led conservation initiatives around the city.

There are a handful of other events, including a planting day at Tavora Reserve tomorrow organised by the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust, and a Dunedin City Council giveaway of 300 kowhai trees at the Dunedin Botanic Garden on Saturday to help attract kereru and other native birds to home gardens.

Department Dunedin community ranger Katrina Thompson said there were "quite a lot of events'' in the region, but it was up to individual groups to advertise them.

"Being the 50th year, the theme is nature needs us. It's focusing on the idea that despite our efforts, many species are still threatened with extinction.''

The department wanted to enable community groups to help with that fight.

There are other events celebrating the week across the country.


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