Land for Wildlife Growing Steadily

08 Jul 2013

 Our Tauranga-based ‘Land for Wildlife’ programme is growing from strength to strength with fourteen properties now signed up. 

 Dry stock farmer, Colin Merrin in front of his Land for Wildlife sign.

Dry stock farmer, Colin Merrin in front of his Land for Wildlife sign.

Owners of dairy farms, golf courses and lifestyle blocks have signed up to this voluntary programme that is based on a highly successful programme in Australia. 

The programme co-ordinator, Hamish Dean, says that after people sign up he visits their property, writes an ecological report and gives them advice to improve biodiversity on their land.  

Those properties that need to make significant improvements receive  ‘working towards’ status, while those who meet a certain standard receive Land for Wildlife certification and a sign to display on their gate. 

So far, eight properties have full certification, while the remaining six are still working towards that goal. 

Hamish says as the programme grows, they may create a Land for Wildlife ‘library’ whereby property owners can borrow Henry traps, tracking tunnels and bat detectors. 

Hamish – who has just completed his Masters in Ecological Restoration – says that it is hoped that several agencies, such as the local regional council, or QEII will partner with Forest & Bird, so the programme can be rolled out further afield. 

One of the early subscribers to the scheme was Colin Merrin who has around 60 hectares of fenced native bush on his dry-stock farm. 

“I heard about the scheme because Hamish sent me a letter and I was already doing some pest control on the land, so I invited him over to discuss it further. So far, he’s been on several site visits and set up a programme for rat control, as well as a bat detection system.” 

To see a video on Land for Wildlife, see here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V8euyMeH1s