...and it kicked off with a proposal for a new conservation park on Great Barrier Island, and a pest eradication programme on Rakitu Island in the Hauraki Gulf.
Great Barrier Island is a natural treasure and certainly deserves a higher conservation status than simply 'stewardship land'. The legal effect of a change in designation would result in greater protection for its flora and fauna, and an increased emphasis on recreation. If adopted, the conservation park would be of similar size to the Hunua and Waitakere Ranges Regional Parks, and would be the largest DOC Park in Auckland.
Meanwhile Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith says $190,000 from the Nature Heritage Fund is being committed to rid Rakitu Island of rats. These are a major problem for native birds on the island like the teal duck, morepork, grey warbler, shining cuckoo, silvereye, little blue penguin, and moko, copper and ornate skinks. It would also make the island safe for native birds like bellbirds and whiteheads. The rat eradication programme on Rakitu Island would take 2-3yrs to plan and complete and would involve an extensive programme of poisoning.
Conservation Week runs 8-15 September.