Orokonui sanctuary receives plant award

Orokunui Ecosanctuary's work to help the survival of many native plants has been recognised with a national award.

The ecosanctuary has won the community plant conservation project category of New Zealand Plant Conservation Network awards.

It was the only South Island project to win in the project category.

Network president Dr Philippa Crisp said the awards recognised special people and projects that captured community interest.

"These individuals and groups are the leading guardians of our country's native plants and ecosystems and deserve recognition for their tireless and dedicated work," she said.

The ecosanctuary's award was based on several projects including the experimental translocation of a rare native sedge, Carex inopinata, the development of a rare plants garden to highlight Otago's rare plants, and a pa harakeke, developed in partnership with Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki, which helps protect many culturally important varieties of flax.

Otago Natural History Trust trustee Dr Kelvin Lloyd said the Carex inopinata translocation, supported by the Department of Conservation recovery group, took place in May and the first signs of flowering had recently been seen.

The ecosanctuary was also recognised for protecting a significant area of diverse native forest from pest animals including pigs, goats, possums, and rodents.

Ecosanctuary general manager Chris Baillie said the award provided further recognition of the value of the ecosanctuary to the survival of rare flora and fauna.

"We are delighted to receive it."


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