Predator-Free Cornwallis Peninsula Within Reach
Originally set up to stop the impending demolition of the Cornwallis wharf, SCOW is now focusing on wider environmental projects that safeguard the natural habitat of Cornwallis.
Top of the list is the ambitious project to eradicate rodents on the Cornwallis Peninsula to protect native birds, in particular the grey-faced petrel. Rats, stoats and feral cats are decimating the populations of native birds across the country, preying as they do on vulnerable chicks as well as eggs.
SCOW has received Million Dollar Mission funding of $11,855 to purchase traps and supplies in support of the quest to rid Cornwallis of pest predators. The volunteers of SCOW had already made an important start. Calling themselves ‘Petrelheads’, the volunteers are supported in their predator control activities by Auckland Council’s park rangers.
However, the Million Dollar Mission has enabled SCOW to significantly extend the project’s coverage and has really helped to jump start the whole initiative. What’s more, the funding means that a variety of traps can be deployed in what can sometimes be a difficult to access, rocky coastline. A comprehensive system of humane trap lines can now be set across the peninsula for maximum coverage. It’s hoped that private properties will also come on board with the initiative.
SCOW is a small community group that relies entirely on volunteers. The group’s Gillman Rae advises, ‘We were very happy to be involved in the Million Dollar Mission and are grateful to The Trusts for the opportunity and the important kick start the funding has provided.’
The Million Dollar Mission isn’t just about supporting those big, headline-grabbing initiatives. We’re also committed to making a difference wherever it’s needed, no matter how small the project.
The Cornwallis Peninsula is indeed an area of outstanding natural beauty with an abundance of native wildlife including tree wetas, giant centipedes, a native praying mantis, and green as well as forest geckos. It’s hoped that the quest to eliminate all predators, which is proudly supported by the Million Dollar Mission, will have a big impact on native bird species in Cornwallis Peninsula. Certainly, the dedicated Petrelheads are doing their very best to make that a reality.
If you are interested in finding out more about SCOW or would like to volunteer to be a part of the predator-free Cornwallis Peninsula project, contact Gillman Rae on 0274 859 090 or check out their website