Community conservation projects throughout Northland have received nearly $800,000 from the Department of Conservation to reach their goals of protecting native plants and wildlife.
They were among 168 from throughout New Zealand that benefited from $8 million from the DoC Community Fund, including $500,000 to three Otago projects supporting the nationally endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin, named Bird of the Year for 2019.
The biggest beneficiary in Northland was Kaitiaki Kiwi, which received $174,411 to expand predator control network for kiwi protection in the Waipoua Forest.
Puketi Forest Trust got $144,000 to undertake control of introduced predators to protect the existing kokako population and plan for follow-up translocations.
Te Runanga o Taumarere ki Rakaumangamanga applied for and received $114,000 towards nine hapu and six marae surrounding the Russell State Forest that will develop a 20-year health plan to establish and sustain the health of the forest.
The Bay Bush Action Trust has been allocated $86,000 to increase biodiversity protection in Opua Forest with multi species predator control.
The Trust will use the money to also expand an additional 252ha of public conservation land, 16ha adjoining private land, and undertake a scientific trial of the effectiveness of the AT220 multispecies resettable trap.
DoC has given Te Iwi o Te Roroa $60,725 for possum control over 1400 ha to restore the biodiversity in the lower Waipoua River catchment, and $50,000 to Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group to prepare a report on the current restoration initiatives in the Kaipara Catchment.
A further $56,642 will be used towards stopping the spread of invasive weeds and protect the taonga of Mt Manaia, Bream Head, Reotahi and Kauri Mountain.
Predator control work at Waipu to protect the New Zealand Fairy Tern has attracted $20,000 of taxpayers money and a similar amount has been given to the Te Orewai Whenua Trust to develop initiatives for the health and wellbeing of freshwater taonga, and to monitor the state of the waterways.
Mid-North Alliance in the Bay of Islands received $19,980 to set up predator control in schools and marae in the Mid-North to educate and advocate for the protection of native species.
Nearly $19,000 has been given towards Ngunguru sandspit restoration and $16,080 to develop an ecological restoration programme for the Ipipiri Islands.
"Some of the 168 projects funded include research on our rarest plants and wildlife, mapping the birds of Aotearoa, and developing community conservation hubs. DoC staff will work closely with these projects over the coming years to support them," Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said.
The next DOC Community Fund round will open in February 2020.