Group feature: Karioi – Maunga ki te Moana Project
The Karioi – Maunga ki te Moana: Mountain to the Sea project is a community led conservation project based in Raglan, run in partnership with A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand, Tainui Hapu, Te Whakaoranga O Karioi, Whaingaroa Environment Centre, Department of Conservation, Waikato Regional Council and the Whaingaroa Community.
The project’s vision is “To restore biodiversity from the mountain to the sea.” The project mission is – “Active conservation through engaging communities, providing environmental education and sustainable partnerships.”
Since 2009 the project partners have been actively working together towards an integrated pest-control program to re-establish Karioi as a seabird mountain and protect the remnant population of seabirds – Grey Faced Petrels / Oi that still burrow around the shorelines of Karioi, while a wider programme of predator control to restore forest birds on the mountain is being scaled up each year. Unless active pest management is in place to protect Oi nests from predators, existing populations are unlikely to survive. Large-scale predator control also means we might one day see kiwi back on Karioi.
Working together with NZ seabird experts and species dogs the Karioi team has been delighted to see an increase in burrowing activity from visiting Grey faced Petrels and in 2016 found seven potential breeding sites which are monitored throughout the breeding season each year.
The Karioi Backyard Hub is a trapping program for local residents and landowners that gives them an opportunity to become part of the expanding network of traps by doing their bit on their own land. There is also a year round educational program that works with local schools, and provides an after school environmental program for kids ages 7 – 13 each term.