What started out as a series of late night discussions around a pot-bellied stove, became a reality when a group of friends realised a little less talk and a lot more action was required if they were going to prevent any more of New Zealand’s native birds from becoming the next ‘Moa’.
This action took the form of information gathering to find out what was going to be the most effective way for them to make a difference. They talked to the Department of Conservation, researched other like-minded groups, and undertook training out in the field.
As a result, Moa Conservation Trust was formed in June 2014. Since then the trustees, along with a merry band of volunteers, have been rolling up their sleeves and getting down and dirty out in the bush. The first two trap lines resulted in more than 300 possum kills by November 2015.
Successful fundraising in 2016 raised enough funds to complete Stage 3 of our programme. Fast forward to April 2017 and more than 1200 possums have been caught.
May 2017 sees us embarking on a new Stage 4. The basis of this stage is that DOC are providing $200k to purchase 1000+ A24 Goodnature re-setting traps and ancillary equipment, and Rimutaka Forest Park Trust (RFPT) and Moa Conservation Trust (MCT) will manage their operation. Approximately 1/3 of these traps will be installed within the existing trapping area currently operated by RFPT and the remaining installed on new traplines on the east side of the Orongorongo River.
Refer to our Autumn 2017 Newsletter for full details.
By significantly reducing the number of predators in our territory, native birds can be reintroduced and native birdsong restored in the area – tieke, kokako and toutouwhai will have the chance to thrive.
The Rimutaka Forest Park Charitable Trust has already started reintroducing kiwi into a neighbouring area of the park, primarily as a result of trapping stoats and rats, and our work will continue to support theirs in this respect.
The Greater Wellington region has a population of 487,000 – the majority of which are less than an hour away from the Catchpool and Orongorongo Valleys. The Catchpool Valley is the gateway to the Rimutaka Forest Park.
The Orongorongo Track is one of the most popular walks in New Zealand and the Tawa Grove Walk is specially designed for disabled or elderly people. The significant number of visitors to the area (estimated at more than 10,000) that walk these two tracks, and the many other tracks, in the Catchpool and Orongorongo Valleys, will have the opportunity to hear native birdsong and spot native birds in their natural habitat.
Moa Conservation Trust’s
Moa Conservation Trust is incorporated
under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.
Jamie McNaught (Chairman)
Leisa Robb (Secretary)
Todrick Taylor (Finance)
The territory for possum eradication was
established in discussion with Department