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Motuihe Island – pest free since 2005

Published: 21 October 2019

It’s been 19 years since the Motuihe Trust was founded by a group of community volunteers with the aim of restoring the island.

“Motuihe Island has been mammal pest free since early 2005," says John, the trust chairman.

"Because of that, we’ve seen the fauna and flora flourish in the area."

Since gaining pest-free status, the island has seen saddlebacks, little spotted kiwi, bellbirds and tuatara released on the island.

Over 440,000 native plants have been propagated in the island’s nursery and planted by volunteers since 2003. Those plants include kahikatea, kanuka, kowhai, manuka, rewarewa, and totara.

The trust organises between 2000 and 3000 volunteers each year to help with the various conservation efforts including the monitoring of birds and geckos, invasive weed control, and the formation and maintenance of tracks across the island.

“We’re blessed with a very strong group of committed regular volunteers,” says John.

In 2019, Motuihe Island received funding from Auckland Council via the Regional Environment Natural Heritage grant.

The island is currently open to the public for guided tours during the summer. Aucklanders can also do self-guided tours along any of the island’s four tracks.

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