After 17 years of inactivity, the Waitaki branch has been reactivated with enthusiasm and verve.
The focus of the branch is to protect and actively manage what we have and restore what we have lost, while providing an educational, enjoyable and supportive environment. Proposed projects include
- enhancing yellow-eyed penguin habitat at Bushey Beach
- restoring riparian vegetation along local streams such as Oamaru Creek,
- undertaking bird surveys in Oamaru, in wetlands and remaining forest,
- assisting DOC with rare plant protection on special limestone reserves at Gards Rd and Earthquakes,
- advocating for pre-human forest plantings along the Alps to Ocean cycleway,
- encouraging local schools to get involved with conservation.
We will help to bolster populations of threatened species, advocate on their behalf, push for better water quality, prevent indigenous forest clearance and address the lack of orginal lowland habitat.
On top of this, we hope to foster a better connection between people and wild places, and address issues such as nature deficit disorder.
In the 1990s, local Forest and Bird members set up and looked after the little blue penguin colony in Oamaru. In 1994 the Little Blue Penguin Trust was formed to manage the main colony, which is now a successful commercial tourist enterprise.