Sunday 01 May, 2016The Mauao Area Wildlife Trust will be relaunched and renamed as the Western Bay Wildlife Trust today. The Trust chairperson Julia Graham says due to overwhelming support from local communities, and the need for conservation strategies in other areas beyond Mauao and along the coast, the trust has expanded its service and reach.
Western Bay Wildlife Trust chairperson Julia Graham peeking in on penguins. Photo/Supplied.
“We're expanding to cover the Western Bay part of the Bay of Plenty region,” says Julia. “It's just a way to say we're there for everyone. We've just got so much to give. Julia says the trust wants to begin helping further afield than just Mauao and at times the trusts' name can make this confusing.
“If we want to do things a bit further afield we're a bit limited in that.”
The newly formed Western Bay Wildlife trust will continue with the purpose of the original trust, which is to safeguard a place for preserving and protecting species that otherwise would become endangered. “Mauao will always be at the core of everything we do and to reflect that, it takes pride of place in our new logo, alongside our precious little blue penguins and petrels,” says Julie.
Local bird and wildlife include godwits, pied shags, red-billed gulls, little blue penguins, orca, stingrays, dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, the endangered New Zealand dotterel on Matakana Island, oyster catchers, diving petrels, shearwaters and grey-faced petrels.
The key objectives of the trust will be the protection of existing populations of native fauna and flora, improving and enhancing native ecosystems, the monitoring and research of existing native colonies, educating and promoting of the Western Bay area and its native species, the increase in pest control, revegetation and the cleaning up of rubbish.
The Mauao Area Wildlife Trust was established in 2013, after a range of issues were discovered impacting native flora and fauna species prior to, and during monitoring of little blue penguin and grey-faced petrel colonies affected by the Rena oil spill in 2011.
To celebrate the rebrand and launch of the new Western Bay Wildlife Trust and the new website www.westernbaywildlife.nz, there will be a public tree planting day today on Moturiki Island (commonly known as Leisure Island) opposite Mount Drury in Mount Maunganui from 1pm – 4pm.
The public are invited to come with their families and a spade to create their own legacy moment, planting a pohutakawa, karo or kawakawa tree, or native ice plant and coastal ferns.
This event will also include a sausage sizzle, a sand sculpture competition at 1pm, followed by the tree planting and working bee, including weeding and rubbish collection) on Moturiki Island from 2pm – 4pm.
The public are also invited to support the trust's work by sponsoring a little blue penguin, making a donation, and becoming a member of the trust.
This enables the trust to continue protecting the population of little blue penguins, as well as other special native species such as petrels, geckos, skinks and native plants by protecting and enhancing the habitats of these species in the area.