Species in the Wild Project

The Species in the Wild Project supports both the species and its habitat; the goal is to go beyond survival and to establish sustainable populations in the wild.
 Takahe
Takahe Photo Credit: Corin Walker Bain

Every step of the way is important when rescuing a wild species and enabling them to flourish again in their natural habitat.

It is an ambitious, multi-layered project including:

- Creating flourishing biodiverse habitats
- Having prolific and genetically diverse breeding programmes
- Building conducive transitional wild-like reserves such as large scale aviaries and reserves
- Successfully transferring species from reserves into the wild
- Long-term monitoring and analysis and field support to ensure a species is flourishing in its new wild habitat

The breeding programmes are incredibly sophisticated, balancing the care and survival of each and every bird, whilst preserving its wildness to ensure it will have the best chance of survival in its natural habitat.

The identification and preparation of wild spaces takes determination and commitment over the long term and includes research of ecosystems, species monitoring, pest control and often native flora and fauna rebuilding. From the underground networks and waterways, to the plants and trees, to the invertebrates and the birds in the sky, these wild spaces need to work from a full ecosystem point of view.

Building on past learning and successes with species such as the takahē, the orange fronted parakeet | kākāriki karaka and with a range of wild habitats, there are multiple ways for individuals and businesses to engage in these projects and support them.

If you would like to support or champion our species in the wild please don’t hesitate to donate or get in contact. We welcome your support.
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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Credit: Glenda Rees Shore plover hero Glenda Rees BW OGChick

Shore Plover

Please donate and help the NZ Nature Fund save the critically endangered tūturuatu/tchūriwat’/shore plover from extinction.

The tūturuatu is the world’s rarest plover, with just 250 adults left. They’re endemic to New Zealand and if we lose them, there’ll be nothing quite like them left on the planet.

They’re little birds with big personalities, very curious and bold. Their dark face mask and brown cap, bright orange beaks and feet, and a quirky full-body bob motion marks them out from other species. Because they’re small and nest on the ground, tūturuatu are seriously at risk from introduced predators like rats, stoats and cats. Their survival relies on predator-free islands and support from the captive breeding programme.

They were last spotted on the mainland in 1872. Today over half the birds are on the remote Chathams and the rest are on islands around the mainland. There are three captive breeding facilities which hold just 18 pairs to help maintain and boost the species.

NZ Nature Fund is supporting the DOC project to release juveniles on Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf. To do this we need to monitor and manage breeding to maximise success, including translocations of new birds to the motu. We need over $80,000 a year for 5 years to make this project a success.NZ Nature Fund has raised half the money for the first year already.

Please help us raise the rest and save this critically endangered species.
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Kākāriki karaka. Craig McKenzie, National Geographic Orange Fronted Kakariki credit National Geographic Craig McKenzie

Saving the Orange-Fronted Parakeet | Kākāriki karaka

The Orange-Fronted Parakeet | Kākāriki karaka is the rarest parakeet in New Zealand.

With only 200-400 left in the wild, located within the Arthur's Pass National Park and Lake Sumner Forest Park. There are four known remaining populations all within a 30km radius of each other.

In 2018, Christchurch Helicopters partnered with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to help conserve these small birds. Their programme involves fundraising with local businesses to raise the funds for pest control, captive breeding and population monitoring as well as transporting DOC's operations staff throughout the region using their fleet of helicopters.

Christchurch Helicopters is partnering with the New Zealand Nature Fund to ensure all funds raised are held in an independent charitable trust then directly applied to the conservation effort.

Christchurch Helicopters Conservation work: https://christchurchhelicopters.co.nz/project/parakeet
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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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