The Kiwi Coast Trust (KCT) and Northland Regional Council (NRC) have re-signed a new biodiversity partnership, five years after first entering a formal working agreement.
Councillor Jack Craw, who chairs NRC’s Biosecurity and Biodiversity Working Party, says both parties wished to continue their successful relationship to ensure biodiversity gains made to date can be sustained and further amplified.
He says the KCT partnership provides a regional platform of support and coordination of grassroots conservation across Northland, with Council to contribute $188,480 annually to Kiwi Coast over the next five years.
Kiwi Coast Coordinator, Ngaire Sullivan says 207 entities are currently linked in to Kiwi Coast – 201 of which are community, hapū or iwi-led projects.
“Collectively, these groups and projects manage approximately 235,000 hectares,” she said.
Ms Sullivan says the number of entities collaborating in Kiwi Coast has more than quadrupled since the initiative got underway in 2012.
“The momentum shows no signs of slowing down as more Northlanders get involved in actively caring for their native forests and wildlife and link into Kiwi Coast. Supporting groups to connect pest control networks, find efficiencies and maximise ecological gains remain key actions of the KCT,” she said.
Kiwi Coast’s collated trap catch data shows that 591,584 animal pests have been trapped by groups and projects involved in the Kiwi Coast over the last nine years. On average, over 1,900 animal pests are now trapped every week.
Ms Sullivan says monitoring data shows upward trends of Northland brown kiwi populations and the continued expansion of highly-sensitive threatened species such as pāteke / brown teal where sustained pest control is being carried out.
“Over the last five years, the KCT-NRC Partnership has provided a strong foundation of support for community, hapū and iwi led conservation projects,” she said.
“Together, KCT and NRC have encouraged groups to collaborate, build skills and confidently implement long-term ecological plans to enable their special local places and taonga species to flourish.”
Councillor Craw said continued growth of landscape-scale predator suppression and support of community, hapū and iwi aspirations for pest-free peninsulas will further boost native wildlife populations across a variety of ecosystems.
“This will not only support the continued revitalisation of Northland’s biodiversity, but also create new opportunities for threatened species recovery and reintroduction,” he said.