News and stories

Inspiring a region - the Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust


20 October 2020

This community-led success story celebrates the ambition and determination of the community to create and sustain a pest-free sanctuary, underpinned by a constant and priority focus on quality biosecurity delivery. Winner of a New Zealand Biosecurity Award in 2020, this project demonstrates the purpose of Predator-free goals, and provides motivation and inspiration to the whole region.

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The Rotokare sanctuary is possibly the largest essentially mouse-free environment on mainland Aotearoa. A strong biosecurity history has enabled significant indigenous species reintroductions, including the return of tieke and hihi after c.150-years regional extinction, and pāteke after c.100-years regional extinction. A partnership project has established a kiwi breeding population, and has now begun translocating kiwi to other sites. The sanctuary is also a source for other species translocations.

A several thousand hectare trapping programme in partnership with surrounding landowners has provided major community inspiration, enabled a kiwi translocation to a nearby site, and the return of pāteke to Taranaki. Due to pāteke predation soon after their release, a significant up-scaling of feral cat control has demonstrated the significant issue this species presents.

A comprehensive environmental education and engagement programme reaches out region-wide, empowering the future generation of leaders with knowledge and inspiration to lead their communities to improve the prospects for indigenous biodiversity.