Join in conservation week events
People can answer the call to Conservation Week by getting involved in some of the six local activities planned for Hawke’s Bay next week.
With the theme Conservation Week is Calling, the Department of Conservation (DoC) is encouraging people to join in local conservation-related activities being held to celebrate this annual event. These include free events such as the Toyota Kiwi Guardian Action and Adventure at White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve on Sunday, September 16. Kids will get to become a pest detective by making a tracking tunnel to take home, join a quiz and then go on an epic adventure into the reserve to find a hidden code word, followed by a sausage sizzle.
There will also be a guided walk on Sunday, September 23 at the O¯ ta¯ tara Pa¯ Historic Reserve in Taradale, led by members of the local hapu¯ , Nga¯ ti Pa¯ rau. Visitors will be taken on a tour of the two pa¯ sites — O¯ ta¯ tara Pa¯ and Hikurangi Pa¯ , talking about the history of the pa¯ sites, followed by some fun Ma¯ ori games led by Sport Hawke’s Bay.
DoC Ahuriri/Napier community supervisor Moana Smith-Dunlop encourages everyone to get involved to learn how they can help turn around the loss of New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. She says it is not just the well-known biodiversity such as the ka¯ ka¯ po¯ and kea that are under threat but also New Zealand’s indigenous plants, lizards, fungi, snails, insects and fish.
“With more than 4000 of our native species threatened or at risk, our wildlife is in crisis,” she says.
“Local examples of our threatened species in the same risk category as ka¯ ka¯ po¯ are the Australasian bittern/matuku and the ka¯ ka¯ beak.
“We need to act now or we could lose wonderful, unique native species and when we lose them we lose a part of what makes New Zealand special. The biggest threat to our plants and wildlife is from introduced predators like rats, stoats and possums. Getting rid of predators is an important first step.”
Moana says the public can help DoC achieve its Predator Free 2050 goals by setting traps on their properties or joining a local predator trapping group.
“Together we can help New Zealand to achieve its Predator Free 2050 goal,” she says.
Otatara Pa Historic Reserve.