Progress So Far
From commencement in 2003 to July 2019 the Trust has raised more than NZ$2.2 million, most of which has been spent in the forest on pest control. An endowment fund has been launched to provide long term funding for the project (balance NZ$190,615 to July 2018).
Nearly 160 km of trap line tracks have been cut. Ten traplines have been established in the 5500 hectare management area within Puketi Forest and one trap line in the adjacent Puketi Scenic Reserve, with traps targeting mustelids, feral cats and possums. A 650 hectare core area within the management area has been established with an intensive layout of rat and possum traps and bait stations for supplementary toxins. More detail is provided on the Pest Control page.
Reliable contractors have been engaged to service the traps, and to July 2019 75,000 pests have been recorded from traps.
Wildlife monitoring is carried out regularly by Trust volunteers to confirm the effectiveness of pest control and the response of protected species. Monitoring has indicated increases in populations of kiwi and other birds. The low rat population target has been achieved in the core area, so that vulnerable bird species can be re-introduced.
Re-introduction of locally extinct wildlife has begun with North Island robins (toutouwai) transferred in 2009 and 2010, and kokako in the period 2012 to 2014. Monitoring has confirmed local breeding of both species. More re-introductions are planned.