Kiwi and Pāteke returned to Dusky Sound

The Fiordland Conservation Trust, supported by the Fiordland Lobster Company and the Department of Conservation have recently released Pāteke (brown Teal) and Little Spotted Kiwi to Dusky Sound.

Twenty pāteke were released in May onto Resolution Island/Mauikatau. Pāteke are New Zealand’s rarest waterfowl and until recently were listed as Nationally Endangered. Thanks to projects like this one, pāteke numbers are beginning to increase and the population is beginning to recover. Despite the recovery there are still very few sites on the South Island with wild populations of Pāteke so it is great to have them back in Dusky Sound.

Little Spotted Kiwi were first released on to Anchor Island in Dusky Sound in 2015. The recent release of another 12 birds is an important milestone as it brings the founding population to 40 individual, this will help keep the genetics of the population healthy and increase their chances of long term survival. The birds appear to have settled in well with the first chick found in February 2016.

Matariki - Tree Give Away

Trees That Count are having a Matariki inspired give away. They are looking seven groups across New Zealand to receive 300 trees each.

To enter your project in the draw, complete the application form at

Entry Information:

  • Only community groups, schools or non-profit organisations are eligible

  • Trees planted must be capable of reaching a minimum height of 5m.

  • Trees must be planted this year

  • Trees That Count will liaise with winning groups on which nursery will provide the trees, and the species and size required. Trees That Count will pay the nursery direct, not the group

  • Trees That Count may require additional information for you to confirm your eligibility for the prize

  • Winning groups must create a project page and register their trees with Trees That Count

  • Trees That Count reserve the right to reverse our decision and allocate the trees to another group if we are not satisfied that the site preparation, planting and maintenance will be of a satisfactory standard

  • Winning groups will be profiled by Trees That Count using their name and photographs for publicity purposes which will include digital, social media, marketing material, as well as external media outlets

  • Judge’s decision is final, no correspondence will be entered into.

  • Entrance into this competition constitutes acceptance of these conditions

  • Entries close 30 June. Winners will be notified in the first week of July.

Three funds offering grants for environmental work are now open and waiting for your application

The Department of Conservation, Environment Southland and QEII all have funding schemes that are now open for applications.

The DOC Community fund has approximately 4.6 million dollars a year to help support priority conservation work. The project funds on-the ground practical work such as pest control and weed control initiative. Several of our local projects have benefited from this fund in previous years, including the Omaui Landcare Trust, Stewart Island/Rakiura Coummunity and Environment Trust, Pomona Island, Forest Hill and The Hollyford Trust.

Expressions of interest are due on the 23rd June so now is the time to get your application in. See for more details.

The Environment Southland Environmental Enhancement Fund has recently been revamped. It is now easier to apply and the fund covers a wider range of restoration projects, from protecting significant habitat to creating areas of new habitat. There is no closing date for applications but the fund is first come, first serve so getting your application in now will help avoid disappointment

And finally, the Stephenson Fund is a new contestable fund recently set up by the QEII trust to help covenanters who are battling against damage from increasing pest numbers, regional weed issues or damage from natural disasters. The fund covers practical conservation work such as revegetation as well as infrastructure repairs and procurement of specialist advice. The fund is only available to people with a QEII covenant. Talk to your QEII rep or visit for funding details.

Are you struggling to decide what to plant? Nature Services may be able to help.

New Zealand has thousands of plant species so it can be hard decided what to include in your restoration project. Landcare Research have developed a new web tool that may be able to help.

The Nature Services website steps you through a series of questions about your site and then provides a species list of suitable local plants. The site is easy to use and provides lots of information about where the plants should go.

So, if you’re looking for inspiration this could be a great place to start

The Southland Community Nursery website is also a wealth of information. The site includes all sorts of information and top tips on how to go about a restoration project. It also includes planting lists for a range of Southland sites from dunes and coastal areas to wetlands and forests. The lists have been developed by local ecologists so you can be sure the species they suggest are suitable for your site.

Remarkable recovery of kākā population

Thanks to over a decade of serious pest control, South Island kākā have made an extraordinary comeback in the Waitutu Forest.

Monitoring in the mid 2000s highlighted an extreme imbalance the population with males outnumbering females six to one. Female kākā and chicks are more vulnerable to possum and stoat attacks as they nested in tree cavities.

DOC scientist, Terry Greene, said a new population sample taken in December last year has revealed a four-fold increase in the proportion of female kākā and 20 times as many juveniles.

Mr Greene said the rebound was ‘phenomenal’ and showed a major programme of pest control in the Waitutu Forest was working.

Other forest birds such as robin and kākāriki have also benefitted from the pest control programme which included localised trapping and poisoning for stoats and possums and three treatments of aerially-applied 1080.

Article reference: Behind the Scenes, conservation in Fiordland (Department of Conservation) 24.03.2017.