Rosebank Peninsula Environmental Project Gets Started
You may not realise it but the coastal bush, wetlands and mangroves around the Rosebank Peninsula are an important wildlife habitat for nesting and migratory birds as well as a wide range of native species including lizards and insects. However, the area is under threat from animal pests such as possums, rats and stoats which prey on these vulnerable species.
The Whau River Catchment Trust (WRCT) is a charitable organisation that has been set up to protect and conserve the important ecology of the Whau River and its streams. WRCT delivers a wide range of community-based environmental projects, often in collaboration with Auckland Council and other agencies within the area. The aim is to create healthier streams and rivers through community participation and kaitiakitanga.
Million Dollar Mission funding of $17,160 is now being used to kick-start a long-term pest control project to reduce the number of predators in the Rosebank Peninsula.
‘Rosebank Peninsula has some of the only established native coastal bush and saline wetland/mangrove ecosystems in the area,’ explains WRCT’s Gilbert Brakey. The area has, therefore, been designated by Auckland Council as a significant ecological area, but has unfortunately suffered considerably from the activities of animal pests.
This project, however, aims to redress the balance. Trap stations are now being established along the northern end of the Rosebank Peninsula and volunteers are carefully monitoring activity from wasps, mice and hedgehogs as well as rats, stoats and possums.
‘This is a very much a long-term project,’ advises Gilbert, ‘and the aim is to reduce the number of pests and predators to manageable levels as total elimination in an urban environment is probably unrealistic.’
‘Having the involvement of The Trusts and the Million Dollar Mission has increased public awareness and interest in the Rosebank Peninsula and pest management,’ says Gilbert.
‘The best part is that business owners who are currently spending substantial sums of money every year on vermin control are starting to really get behind the project.’
The Whau pest-free project has an initial three-year life span. Once pest and predators have been brought to manageable levels, the next stage of the project is to introduce eco-sourced native plants to rehabilitate and restore the natural environment.
‘The support of the Million Dollar Mission has provided a major boost to the project,’ advises Gilbert. ‘It has enabled things to happen sooner and faster and we really appreciate the support.’
In the 2018/19 Financial Year your Trusts gave back $2.5m to West Auckland, through Million Dollar Mission, the distribution of first aid kits to West Auckland households, a donation to help build a new Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Waitakere Hospital and the sponsorship of things like The Trusts Arena and Spooks & Sparks. You can learn more about the ways your trusts give back to West Auckland here.