Zoo and Rotoroa wildlife plan launched

15th November 2013

A draft plan for the reintroduction of native species on Rotoroa was presented to the island's working group last month.

The plan outlines not only animals identified as suitable for establishing on Rotoroa, but strategic thinking around the model of wildlife management the plan proposes. The aim is for Rotoroa to become an internationally significant model of conservation management.

Project leader from Auckland Zoo, Ian Fraser said the selection of species will not be restricted to those known to have previously occurred on the island.  "Species have been selected based largely on their ability to contribute to the overall environmental education and conservation advocacy aims of the project, not simply on whether or not they were on the island a thousand years ago."

The island will be a place where various wildlife management techniques are employed and demonstrated to visitors. This includes provision of nesting boxes, feeding stations and artificial refuges for reptiles and invertebrates to help protect them from weka and other native predators.

"The wildlife management strategy envisages long-term and ongoing management to sustain an island ecosystem abundantly representative of New Zealand's biological diversity," says Ian

Between 2014 and 2017 it is hoped that a range of animals will be introduced to the island, including kiwi, takahe, tuatara, giant weta and geckos.

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