Auckland Zoo and Rotoroa
17th December 2012
Today, Auckland Zoo and Rotoroa Island have announced a special
partnership aimed at saving some of New Zealand's most endangered
species from extinction.
This partnership will ensure that the island's legacy of
recovery, salvation and renewal will continue into its future, by
eventually becoming a sanctuary for a range of endangered New
Auckland Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken is thrilled to announce
the partnership with Rotoroa Island on the Zoo's 90th birthday.
"For the past 90 years, Auckland Zoo has focused on creating a
sanctuary for wildlife within the zoo grounds, but the Auckland Zoo
of today is working more and more to save species in the wild," he
New Zealand leads the world in island restoration projects for
wildlife, and the Rotoroa Island partnership with the Zoo signals a
new chapter in island restoration.
"It will see us extending the Zoo beyond our grounds in a way
that's never been done before in New Zealand, using specialist zoo
expertise to bring back, and manage a wide range of species on a
remarkable island sanctuary.
"We'll also be establishing a unique schools programme to
encourage students to get directly involved with the work of
ecological restoration. We hope to see a whole generation of kids
grow up with a sense of ownership in the renewal of Rotoroa Island
as a wildlife sanctuary," he says.
The partnership between Auckland Zoo and Rotoroa Island is
funded by the Hutton Wilson Charitable Trust and is for $4m over
the next five years.
"Creating a sanctuary on Rotoroa Island for New Zealand's
endangered wildlife is a natural extension to the current
activities of protecting the island's conservation and heritage,"
says Rotoroa Island trustee, John Gow.
"This partnership with Auckland Zoo brings the island closer to
the city whilst creating a nationally significant wildlife
sanctuary. It's a win-win situation for both parties," he says.
Surveys of the existing birds, reptiles and invertebrates on
Rotoroa Island, will begin later this month, and Auckland Zoo and
the Rotoroa Island Trust will eventually build animal breeding and
release facilities on the island.
"We're delighted that Auckland Zoo and Rotoroa Island are
working together to establish a wildlife sanctuary that will give
Aucklanders an opportunity to set foot in, and get involved with,
an environment under restoration," says Sir Don McKinnon,
chairperson of Regional Facilities Auckland, the Auckland
Council-controlled organisation which owns Auckland Zoo.
For media enquiries, contact Karyn Clare on 021 233