Rerenga ki taonga o nga manu ki Kotuku Moana – The refuge of treasured birds belonging to Kotuku Whakaoho/Lake Brunner

The vision of Predator Free Te Kinga is to halt the decline of endangered or threatened species, allowing them to thrive and eventually repopulate an area from the ‘Mountains to the Sea’.
The project aims to eradicate possums from 3,700 ha Mt Te Kinga, protect the area from reinvasion and create wildlife corridors along the rivers and gullies of the surrounding 38,541ha catchment.

The five- year project will utilise the ‘Remove and Protect’ methodologies developed by Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) in South Westland, create 95km of traplines across Te Kinga and use nearly 2,000 trapping and detection devices.

West Coast Regional Council staff and Tai Poutini Polytechnic students are undertaking the work on Te Kinga and surrounding conservation land, contributing to skills development, a planned Centre for Conservation Excellence and creating an enhanced tourism destination.

The project builds on previous predator control efforts by the Lake Brunner Community Catchment Care Group, Department of Conservation and OSPRI in the area.

Mixed podocarp forests, wetlands, braided rivers and tussock lands and their populations of kea, kākā, fernbird, bittern, black-billed gulls, kākāriki, rifleman, brown creeper and recently confirmed roroa (great spotted kiwi), are just some of the species that will all benefit from the mahi taking place in this unique part of Aotearoa.

The first stage of the project is now complete with over 2 years of monitoring data giving a picture of predator populations. Traplines are now installed around the base of the mountain, within the farmland buffers, and around the perimeter of the project. Traps are due to be installed on Mt Te Kinga in early 2024 in preparation for a 1080 to zero aerial eradication operation. After eradication the project will move to a detect and respond mode, using AI species recognition cameras that auto-report any incursions, targeted trapping and toxins, and a possum dog.

Launched May 29, 2020
PF2050Ltd investment $4.4m
Total project investment $15.7m
Funding commitment 5 years
Project lead West Coast Regional Council
Māori partners Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae
Collaborators Lake Brunner Community Catchment Care Group, Department of Conservation, OSPRI, Zero Invasive Predators, Tai Poutini Polytechnic, local farmers and community groups.
Ambition Ambition Eradication of possums from 3,700 ha Mt Te Kinga within a wider project area of 38,541ha across the Lake Brunner Basin.
Design Trapping, monitoring and aerial toxin control to remove possums, then protection from reinvasion using a virtual barrier methodology.