Community groups in Rotorua have been awarded nearly $160,000 from the Department of Conservation's Community Conservation Fund.
The funding will go towards the delivery of conservation work such as tree planting and pest trapping.
The $4.6 million national fund directs funding towards practical projects aimed at conserving New Zealand's indigenous biodiversity.
This includes projects that protect and restore natural habitats, on both public land and privately-owned land.
The Kapenga F Ahu Whenua Trust, Tatau Pounamu Taiao, Whakarewarewa Pest Free Trust and Lake Tarawera Pest Control were all successful in their applications to the fund for support with predator trapping, native tree planting and other conservation activities.
Lake Tarawera Pest Control member Richard Nokes was quick to acknowledge the role of the fund in the conservation work at Kariri point.
"The funding will help us continue to transform a virtually impenetrable area smothered by Old Man's Beard into viable walking tracks allowing people to have access and enjoy the area. The work we are doing on Kariri Point has enthused the community to now extend the project further along the foreshore of the lake."
The $13,950 grant will be used to expand the existing trap network and replace aging traps. The funding will also support further native tree planting and construction of bird nesting boxes.
Community ranger Leonie Johnsen said establishing new ways of working alongside the community was an important strategy for the Department of Conservation.
"The extinction rate for New Zealand's native species are among the highest in the world. Over 4000 species, including three quarters of New Zealand's native birds are at risk. If we are to succeed in stopping this tide of extinction, community involvement and partnerships will be crucial to our success."
Established in 2014, the DOC Community Fund has provided more than $33 million to more than 600 different conservation projects in the first five DOC Community Fund, funding rounds.
In announcing the successful applicants Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said the range of projects funded this year highlights the amazing work being undertaken by volunteers and groups all over New Zealand.
The successful Rotorua applicants are:
• The Kapenga F Ahu Whenua Trust - $5583.50 to protect and enhance the Puarenga wetland through weed removal, fencing and replanting.
• Lake Tarawera Pest Control Group - $13,950 to expand the trap line and replace aging traps on the Kariri Point Restoration project. The group will also undertake indigenous planting and construction of bird nesting boxes.
• Tatau Pounamu Taiao - $47,000 to plant indigenous trees between the Purenga and Waiohewa awa, as well as build capacity in the community for predator control in the area.
• The Whakarewarewa Pest Free Trust - $80,186 to continue predator control and monitoring in the Whakarewarewa Forest.