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Magazine of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust
November 2006

Reproduced with permission from QEII National Trust - Subject to copyright in its entirety.

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Glenfern Sanctuary - bring back the birds

"When we moved to great barrier fifteen years ago, we couldnít get over the absence of bird life on the island and decided to do something about it," recalls Tony Bouzaid of Glenfern Sanctuary in Rarohara Bay, Port FitzRoy. As soon as theyíd established their tourist accommodation business, Tony and wife Mal started planting trees and trapping pests on their 80ha property. Since 2001,with funding from the Auckland City Heritage Fund, they have progressively set up a grid of cat traps and rat bait stations over their own property, the adjacent Orama Christian Community land and the Kotuku scenic reserve. Together, the properties cover a small peninsula between Port FitzRoy and Port Abercrombie. "We now manage this 230ha peninsula with 543 bait stations," Tony says.

Dedication has paid off. The Bouzaidís remnant coastal forest and revegetation planting is flourishing and providing habitat to threatened species including brown teal, black petrel, kaka, North Island robin and chevron skink. Birdsong is increasing and 5 pairs of North Island robin, translocated with 17 others from Tiritiri Matangi Island in April 2005, successfully fledged 21 juveniles last summer.

"We covenanted 61ha of our land with QEII because itís the only way to protect this beyond us," Tony explains. "Next, we want to build a predator-proof fence across the whole peninsula. Itíll make pest eradication possible and sustainable, using less funding than we currently receive from the Biodiversity Condition Fund. It will also enable other threatened species like kiwi, kokako and saddleback to be introduced.

"What a great example it would be in the effort to eradicate rats and feral cats from the whole island!"

www.glenfern.org.nz


Glenfern Sanctuary manager, Steve Maurice, and QEII Reps Lynda Fleming and Robyn Smith admire coastal
views from Sunset Rock in Glenfern Sanctuary. 
Photos: Margaret McKee

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