March 13, 2014
Te Arai progress helping fairy terns
A long-running campaign to protect a threatened shorebird from a Maori-owned development may have had the opposite effect.
Te Uri o Hau and its partners have started turning Te Arai, north of Auckland, into a golf course and upmarket housing development, after years of fighting for resource consent.
Chief executive Deborah Harding says the last breeding season was the most successful for fairy tern at the adjacent Mangawhai Wildlife Refuge since data was first collected in the early 1990s, with nine chicks hatching and all surviving to fledge.
She says the removal of 150 hectares of pine trees has significantly reduced the cover for pests and predators like stoats, rats, hedgehogs and cats which threaten what is New Zealand’s most endangered species.
The development has also increased the resources available for predator control, with $70,000 spent last year on hunting, trapping, and poisoning operations, working with DoC and other volunteer groups, including the Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society.
Ms Harding says Te Uri o Hau is changing the land use from a low grade pine forest with poor ecological values to one which is much better for the environment.
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