A large-scale pest removal project aimed at restoring the native wildlife and plants on Banks Peninsula has been given a $5.11 million boost.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage made the announcement at an event on pest-free Ōtamahua/Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour today.
She said the new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 15 jobs while enabling large-scale pest removal over parts of Banks Peninsula and Kaitōrete.
“This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep and across the Peninsula by removing introduced pests such as possums, mustelids and rats,” Ms Sage said.
“The investment will allow large-scale pest control to be progressed over about 28,500 ha, expanding work underway in the Wildside project in the south-east of the Peninsula, and the internationally significant spit and dune systems of Kaitōrete. These areas can be more readily defended against the reinvasion of pests.
“This will benefit many special native species such as the jewelled gecko/moko kākāriki, Banks Peninsula tree wētā and banded dotterel/pohowera. There is strong support from Ngāi Tahu and the community in restoring these species and Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū,” she said.
Funding for the project, which will be managed by the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, comes from the Government’s $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature package in response to Covid-19, which includes $76 million for investment into community predator free projects through Predator Free 2050 Ltd.
Predator Free 2050 Ltd has approved $5.11 million over five years to progress the extended Wildside and Kaitōrete predator removal and control programmes which will focus on possums, mustelids (stoats and ferrets), feral cats, rats and hedgehogs.