29 May 2020

Huge funding boost for predator control on West Coast mountain

4:03 pm on 29 May 2020

The Government plans to spend $15.7 million to eradicate predators around Lake Brunner/ Kotuku Whakaoho in the South Island.

Lake Brunner

Predator control has received a massive funding boost at Lake Brunner on the West Coast. Photo: Wikicommons

Today, the Government announced the funding for the West Coast forests of Mt Te Kinga at Lake Brunner. The $15.7m total includes $4.4 million from Predator Free 2050 Ltd, which recently received $19.5m from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The Predator Free Lake Brunner project is part of the Government's $1.1 billion nature-based jobs package.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said the project would completely remove possums from the 3,700 hectare mixed podocarp forests of Mt Te Kinga.

"This will encourage healthy forest and enable special native plants and wildlife to flourish," Sage said.

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Kea are among the many threatened native birds that will be helped by the predator control boost, says Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage. Photo: NaiveAngel.com/ 123rf

About 12 new jobs will be created in the project, which would help the area's many threatened native birds, such as roroa/great spotted kiwi, kea, kaka, whio, fernbird, bittern, black billed gulls, kakariki/ parakeet, rifleman and brown creeper.

Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau said the funding would reduce the need for repeated 1080 use.

The project would involve trapping, monitoring and initial aerial control to almost eliminate pests, but would move to maintaining a barrier to keep pests out, rather than regular aerial pesticide drops.

"This project will not only offer benefits for conservation and provide much needed progress towards a predator free future for New Zealand, but also provide great prospects for local employment and the long-term economic future of the West Coast district," Tabuteau said.

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