ECO cash splash

‘‘A taonga species’’: The mohua, endemic to the South Island, are set to benefit from ORC’s ECO Fund

Six Whakatipu environmental projects are on the receiving end of Otago Regional Council’s latest round of ECO funding.

Of the $470,000 in funding, more than $130,000 is being distributed among Southern Lakes Sanctuary ($26,125), Whakatipu Reforestation Trust ($45,733), Mana Tahuna Charitable Trust ($15,000), Friends of Tucker Beach ($33,000), Arrowtown Choppers ($11,706), and Quail Rise Residents Group ($1000) to help them continue restoring and protecting the district’s ecosystems.

Southern Lakes Sanctuary’s (SLS) money is going towards the translocation of mohua (yellowhead) into west Matukituki Valley, and creating bait stations to support the native birds’ survival there.

Project director Paul Kavanagh says the conservation consortium is ‘‘absolutely delighted’’ with the funding, which not only enables SLS to embark on the project, but also goes hand-in-hand with the predator control work of its members and other local conservation groups.

‘‘With this translocation, it’s really a story about collaboration and the collective impact of many groups working together.

‘‘The Department of Conservation are the ones who secured mohua on Anchor Island, so they’re now in a beautiful predator-free habitat, they’re breeding really well there and that then enables the trans location,’’ Kavanagh says.

He says the funding also consolidates the work done by several conservation groups, particularly Matukituki Charitable Trust, to ‘‘make the land safe’’ for mohua via predator control and bird monitoring in the Matukituki Valley.

‘‘It’s really exciting, and again [for] so many of our predator control groups, this is why they do that work because then they can see the benefits of restoring the mauri of the forest.’’

Kavanagh says the support from the ORC’s great, and he hopes it’s an indicator they’re ‘‘in it [landscape-scale conservation] for the long haul’’.

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