Birds ben­e­fit

The Cut - - FEATURE -

When Tara Iti of­fi­cially opened its doors on Oc­to­ber 1, en­dan­gered shore birds out­num­bered golfers by nearly 10:1, a fact that de­lighted club founders and the lo­cal con­ser­va­tion es­tab­lish­ment.

Upon ac­quir­ing the property, club founders es­tab­lished the Te Arai and Man­gawhai Shore­birds Trust to con­serve and pro­tect fairy terns in ad­di­tion to other at-risk shore­birds on the Man­gawhai Wildlife and the Man­gawhai Mar­ginal Strip. As well as sourc­ing and pro­vid­ing funds nec­es­sary to the preser­va­tion, pro­tec­tion and fos­ter­ing of th­ese shore­birds, the trust is charged with ac­tively pro­mot­ing growth in the num­ber of threat­ened shore­birds.

Thirty-seven fairy terns were as­sessed on the property at the be­gin­ning of the 2014-15 sea­son and that fig­ure has grown to an es­ti­mated 40.

Tara Iti’s gen­eral man­ager Matt Guzik said the golf club and other con­trib­u­tors fund all Shore­bird Trust ef­forts. In April 2016 the club will host the first of what will be an an­nual golf tour­na­ment to ben­e­fit the trust, thereby spread­ing year­long fi­nan­cial sup­port among the club, its mem­bers, North­land golfers and con­ser­va­tion­ists alike.

“The part­ner­ships we’ve cre­ated here aren’t just with the golf club, or with Te Uri o Hau,” Guzik said, re­fer­ring to the lo­cal Maori iwi or tribe in the North­land re­gion. “We meet with all the con­ser­va­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions in the area. Our club staff as­sists in trap­ping and mon­i­tor­ing. It’s been a real team ef­fort, and ev­ery­one is so pleased with the progress: in bird counts, in open­ing the club, in cre­at­ing some­thing truly unique here.”

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