New impetus to tackle predators at scale

The Tū Mai Taonga project is building an island-based conservation workforce that will trial new methodologies and tools to remove rats and feral cats at landscape scale on Aotea.

Ecologically, the island has a head start because it is free from possums, mustelids and Norway rats, but ship rats, kiore and feral cats are having a devastating impact on its unique fauna.
Twenty years of carefully documented work in island sanctuaries and trapping by community groups has shown how hard and how important the job is.

Indicator species such as kererū, tūī and kākā are now increasing but others like pāteke (brown teal), tākoketai (black petrels) and niho taniwha (chevron skink) among others remain vulnerable.

The Tū Mai Taonga Project is proceeding under the leadership, guiding vision and tikanga of the Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust.

Launched June 1, 2021
PF2050Ltd investment $3m through the Jobs for Nature - Mahi mō te Taiao programme
Total project investment Target $10m+
Funding commitment Four years
Project lead Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust
Māori partners
Collaborators Aotea Conservation Park Advisory Committee, Aotea Great Barrier Environmental Trust, Aotea Great Barrier Island Local Board, Auckland Council, Department of Conservation through the Jobs for Nature - Mahi mō te Taiao programme, Glenfern and Kotuku Peninsula Trust, Kawa Marae, Motairehe Marae, Motu Kaikoura Trust, Okiwi Community Ecology Project, Windy Hill Sanctuary and Rosalie Bay Catchment Trust, landowners and residents around the motu.
Ambition 18,000ha of northern area of Aotea Great Barrier initially.
Design Design: A proof of concept programme using new methodologies and adaptive learning, targeting ship rats, kiore and feral cats. The project will take a staged approach by initially completing detailed design, community and landowner engagement, and confidence of co-funding from the community and others.