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NZ's largest mainland sanctuary funded $1.4mil

27 February, 2018








Aotearoa's largest mainland sanctuary, Mountain Maungatautari, has been granted $1.4 million to help protect some of the county’s most threatened species.

The grant – from the council’s Natural Heritage Fund – will be used over four years by the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust to maintain its 47km predator-proof fence, and carry out pest surveillance and pest incursion responses.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari manager Melissa Sinton says the trust’s key achievements to date included the reintroduction of 13 threatened species, such as the western North Island brown kiwi, takahē, tuatara, kōkako and giant wētā.

She says this was achieved through the successful eradication of all introduced pest mammals, except mice which remain in one area of the sanctuary.

Trustee Don Scarlet says the programme has been “delivering spectacular biodiversity change”, as well as education programmes that were inspiring youth.

The sanctuary is “an amazing collaboration between community, iwi, landowners, councils and central government,” he says.

Maungatautari is home to the largest ecological restoration project in Aotearoa and has more than 400 volunteers providing the equivalent hours of 10 full-time staff each year.

The grant will be paid in annual installments of $350,000 from 2018 through to 2019.