Fiordland

Our newest and most ambitious project. Fiordland has been recognised by the UN as having ‘superlative natural phenomena’. But without urgent and significant action, Fiordland is on course to lose a large number of its indigenous species and suffer irreversible deterioration of its unique biodiversity.
Milford Sound
Photo Credit: Andris Apse

The south west corner of Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Wahi Pounamu is one of the most special places on earth.

With 1.2m hectares of virgin rainforest, fourteen fiords puncturing over 200kms of coastline and sheer granite mountains rising from the sea to over 2700m, it is an increasingly fragile home to a unique range of indigenous species. For some of our most treasured species like Kea, Fiordland is rapidly becoming their last remaining refuge.

Even in this remote place, eco-systems are deteriorating at a worrying and rapid rate. Regular hikers of the mountain valleys have noticed significant change over the years but few people realise the danger that our most treasured wilderness is in. There is a pressing need to stop the disappearance of ecosystems here, and major work carried out to turn it around into a thriving wild landscape once again.

Turning around the loss and restoring Fiordland as a biodiverse wilderness, full of thriving indigenous creatures and plants, will enable it to be a stronghold for species like kea, whio, weka, the New Zealand falcon karearea, kiwi tokoeka and kaka, as well as a range of marine, invertebrate and flora species.

Project Fiordland is a multi-faceted project, comprehensively bringing to life conservation and biodiversity, including:

- Wild species recovery of endangered flora and fauna
- Targeted ecosystem building
- Strategic pest control to topple our biggest threats to native wildlife

If you would like to contribute to the project as a whole or in part we would love to hear from you. It will take people like you to make this extraordinary work possible.
Credit: Sadao Tsuchiya routeburn project nznf

Routeburn Project

The Routeburn Track is one of NZ’s finest Great Walks, but for many years the bush was silent as our precious birds disappeared due to the presence of predators.

NZ Nature Fund is managing the funds raised and seeking further donations to support the work initiated by DOC Ranger Evan Smith who has been based at the Mackenzie Hut on the Routeburn Track each summer for nearly 20 years. With the generous support of those who walk the track, Evan with the support of corporate donors, and the work of the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust on the east side of the Divide, have created a trapping network along the Routeburn Track.

But there is still much to be done to maintain and increase the network of traps and to assist the re-introduction of species that have all but disappeared from the area. Keen observers (C. Miskelly Jan. 2019) note that many species are still not as prevalent as they were 39 years ago.

Please support the great work that Evan Smith and other dedicated donors are doing and help the NZ Nature Fund restore our Species in the Wild along the beautiful Routeburn Track.
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Sinbad Gully, Fiordland Sinbad Gully Image Creative Commons

Sinbad Gully

Sinbad Gully

The Sinbad Gully is an area of significant conservation interest. It has been home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the world, largely untouched for millions of years. Today it continues to house a wide variety of native species and unique flora and fauna, such as the Sinbad skink, and is home to a wide range of native birds including rifleman, weka, kaka, kiwi, whio, bellbird and tui. Located at the base of the iconic Mitre Peak/Rahotu, near the head of Milford Sound/Piopiotahi within Fiordland National Park, it is also part of World Heritage Area, Te Wāhipounamu.

The Sinbad Gully has been greatly affected by introduced pests, however, unlike other areas that have been completely decimated, it has managed to maintain populations of many native species. The most likely reason being that the very steep terrain and tough climate have acted as buffers from complete dominance by pests such as rats, stoats, possums and deer. This was perhaps also why it was one of the last places that kākāpō were found in Fiordland.

Importantly, it means the Sinbad Gully still has a chance of being an oasis of some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most treasured species.

Following the stepping back of a company's support in the Gully, a private donor has come forward to help ensure this valley's native species are protected and predators are kept at bay. The project works closely with the Department of Conservation and there is much to be done to ensure this area is not only protected but gets the opportunity to flourish once again.
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Photo Credit: Valleys Project Valley landscape

Valleys Project

Protecting birdlife against pests through significant yet affordable conservation projects

Anyone who spends time in the New Zealand bush knows how dreadfully quiet it has become. It is no news that our birdlife is in decline and many native species are on the brink of extinction.
There is a growing realisation amongst New Zealanders that we can’t just sit back and “let the government do it”. If we want to preserve our natural heritage, Kiwis have to get out there and help, and also to contribute financially.

With projects already established in Fiordland's Cozette, Iris and Irene Valleys, the Valleys Project offers private individuals and corporates the opportunity to undertake significant yet affordable conservation projects in partnership with DOC and the New Zealand Nature Fund. These projects aim to adjust the balance in favour of our birdlife by trapping predators in areas currently without any control measures. They will combine strategically with DOC’s mammalian pest control work and with existing Valleys Projects to become part of a greater whole.

We seek to involve like-minded individuals who would enjoy the opportunity to visit remote areas regularly, and who are prepared to contribute financially to conservation work. There is the opportunity to give your time in the backcountry a real purpose, enjoy companionship and the satisfaction that comes from being involved in a worthwhile endeavour.

Visit the Valleys Project website
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Photo Credit: Pure Salt Long Island Tamatea Dusky Sound

Pure Salt Tamatea

The vision: Tamatea Dusky Sound Restoration

The vision is for Tamatea/Dusky Sound to be one of the most intact ecosystems on Earth, and New Zealand's largest ‘bio bank’ – a source of endangered native species that can be sent to pest free locations throughout the country.

Overall the Tamatea/Dusky Sound restoration plan has been developed by DOC with the ambitious goals of eradicating pests, re-introducing missing species and filling biodiversity information gaps in the area. The project area includes Breaksea Sound, Acheron Passage, Wet Jacket Arm, and Dusky Sound itself, including over 700 islands, including New Zealand’s fifth largest island, Resolution Island.
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Takahe feeding

Takahē Recovery Programme

Working together to ensure that the takahē is never again considered extinct.

For more than 65 years, attempts to save takahē have pioneered conservation techniques for protected species in New Zealand and in the world.
Today the work of a small dedicated team of DOC takahē rangers is well supported and enhanced by iwi, scientists, volunteers, and the public and private organisations that provide safe homes and care for the growing breeding takahē and those birds now retired from the breeding programme.

Department of Conservation Takahē Recovery Programme: https://www.doc.govt.nz/takaherecovery
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