Conservation work to continue

Native birdlife is thriving in the Matukituki Valley, near Wanaka, because of work over the past seven years by volunteer predator controllers.

The work of the Matukituki Charitable Trust will continue for another 10 years, following a contract renewal with the Department of Conservation on Monday.

Doc community supervisor Caroline Ogle was thrilled the partnership was continuing to work towards a Predator Free 2050 goal.

‘‘... it enables us to better protect a wide range of native flora and fauna in the iconic Matukituki Valley ... One day we’d love to see this valley be home for more native species — such as mohua, whio and others — and the work that the trust does is a vital part in realising this,’’ Ms Ogle said.

Trust co-founder Gillian Crombie said it had monitored species, delivered three 1080 programmes and removed about 5000 pests, allowing South Island robin, kakariki, kaka, bellbirds, warblers and kea to thrive.

The volunteers have spent the past seven years establishing an 850-trap predator control network.

The first five years of the renewed management agreement will focus on a project with the Kea Conservation Trust, a mohua release and cat removal.

During the year ending June 30, the trust spent 1900 hours preparing and clearing traps.

A 25-trap line was installed across Cascade Ridge from the Pylon to the Saddle and another 23-trap line installed up the south side of Rob Roy above Shovel Flat.

Additional traps were placed at the head of the valley above Scotts Biv and 60 live capture cages for cats and possums have been bought and used.

A six-week cat trapping programme from Raspberry Creek car park to Pearl Flat took place.

Volunteers cleared 852 traps from 27 lines at Gloomy Gorge, French Ridge Quarterdeck, Liverpool Hut/Mt Barff, the Cascade and Shotover Saddles and Aspiring Homestead.

A new $6600 Cascade Saddle trap line has been approved and funded by Doc.

Volunteers also helped the Kea Conservation Trust protect a kea nest, allowing four chicks to fledge, Mrs Crombie said.

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