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2009 Annual Report Royal Forest and Bird Protecton Society

2009 Annual Report Royal Forest and Bird Protecton Society

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Published by: Royal Forest and Bird Protecton Society on Sep 10, 2010
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RepoRt to membeRs
(For the year ended 28 February 2009)
Don Merton
Effective pest control
A key actor in the success o all o these partnerships is theuse o eective control o the many introduced pests whichare the major threat to our orests and other native habitatsand our native wildlie. Our continued advocacy o eectivepest control has been crucial in keeping many o our mostvulnerable species alive.In April we welcomed the decision by a ministerial panel – onwhich Forest & Bird was represented – to support eectivemeans o controlling deer, thar, chamois and pigs in the wild.The panel’s recommendations are important ocial recognitionthat conservation must remain a priority in managing thesepest species.We were also extremely pleased to learn that Government-unded pest control was implemented – in direct responseto Forest & Bird’s campaigns – in critical areas including theKaimai Ranges and Waitutu Forest.Forest & Bird’s own nationwide network o volunteers is activeon the “rontline” o pest control around New Zealand. Ourinaugural Pestbusters Award – which was awarded to the SouthTaranaki Branch – recognised their tremendous commitmentin ghting the battle against pests.
Oten in conservation, we can’t do everything on our own,and partnerships are absolutely critical to achieving the gainswe so urgently need to make in conservation. The past yearsaw Forest & Bird orge and renew a number o successulpartnerships to protect and enhance our native wildlie.In December we signed up, with Rio Tinto Alcan NZ andthe Department o Conservation, to a renewed partnershipprogramme to support eorts to help the kakapo. Thepartnership supports the work o the Kakapo Recovery Groupin protecting the critically endangered kakapo, o which just91 birds remain. At the time o writing, recovery group workerswere expecting bumper breeding season which would litthe kakapo population above 100 or the rst time in manydecades.On World Environment Day in June we launched a partnershipwith online auction site Trademe, in which people buying orselling items on the site can donate to Forest & Bird’s Kiwis orKiwi campaign. So ar more than 13,000 people have made acontribution.BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust, supported by Forest & Bird, celebratedthe hatching o the 1000
kiwi chick under its Operation NestEgg programme. We can be proud to be part o this eort torestore populations o our national icon.Another species making a welcome comeback, with the helpo a recovery group in which Forest & Bird is involved, is thekokako. Thanks largely to the eorts o the Kokako RecoveryGroup, kokako numbers are well ahead o the group’s target o1000 pairs by 2013.Ark in the Park – a joint project by Forest & Bird and AucklandRegional Council – may soon bring back the kokako’s hauntingcall to the Waitakere Ranges. Following the successulreintroduction o hihi or stitchbirds to the Ark, where they arenow thriving and breeding, we hope to also relocate kokako tothe ranges this winter.Our international partnerships, particularly our role as BirdLiepartner in New Zealand, mean that our work in New Zealand ispart o global conservation eorts – a vital actor given that manyo the environmental challenges aect us all around the world.
       D       O       C
   D  o  n   M  e  r   t  o  n
Freshwater also became a major ocusor Forest & Bird during the year. Ourreview, with Fish & Game, o the CleanStreams Accord highlighted concernsabout the impact o agriculture onour rivers and lakes, and we continueto lobby or improved environmentalperormance rom the sector.Forest & Bird was among those whoopposed a hydro dam proposal whichwould have a severely detrimentalimpact on the Mokihinui River on theWest Coast and the surrounding beechorest – the proposal by Meridian is stillunder consideration but we are hopeulthat the conservation values o theMokihinui and other rivers will not bedestroyed by allowing environmentallydamaging schemes to go ahead.
Marine protection
O course the conservation challenges do not stop at theshoreline, and Forest & Bird was just as active in advocating orbetter protection o the marine environment as it was on land.Forest & Bird welcomed the introduction o measures or whichwe have long campaigned to protect endangered Hector’s andMaui’s dolphins rom human-induced threats, in particularentanglement in set nets. While measures introduced by theFisheries Minister would have come into eect in October,legal challenges by the shing industry have delayed theirimplementation in some areas. We hope their action will proveto be only a short delay in seeing these important measuresintroduced to protect these unique marine mammals.The year saw considerable progress in achieving betterprotection or seabirds. Our involvement in developing a newNational Plan o Action on seabirds (which will be nalisedsoon) will achieve measures to signicantly reduce by-catchdeaths o seabirds. Work has also progressed towardsnominating Important Bird Areas that will give internationalstatus to New Zealand marine areas and the seabirds that areound in them.Our Places or Penguins project is also making good progressin establishing better protection and habitat restoration or littleblue penguins. One very special penguin, Koro, ound washedup on a Wellington beach in very poor health, was “adopted”by Forest & Bird, nursed back to health, and eventuallyreleased back into the wild. We hope Places or Penguins willensure that all little blue penguins will have the best chance osurvival.In August recreational shers, leading ood writers and ches,and thousands o New Zealanders supported Forest & Bird’sShark pledge against shark nning. The Government hasnot acted to ban this unsustainable practice, but we remaincommitted to achieving this goal.The opening o Taputeranga Marine Reserve o Wellington’ssouth coast – campaigned or by Forest & Bird or 17 years –was cause or celebration. Establishment o marine reserveswill be an increasingly high-prole campaign or Forest & Birdin the coming year as we push or 30% o our marine area tobe protected by 2020.
   M   i  n   i  s   t  r  y  o   f   F   i  s   h  e  r   i  e  s
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