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Aorangi Restoration Trust
We are a charitable conservation trust looking at protecting and restoring the Aorangi Range, surrounding land and coastline in the Southern Wairarapa to its former glory. This area consists of a 20K hectare recreational park, as well as another 20k hectares of surrounding land and coastline. Historically this environment was home to kiwis, whio, weka, northern rata and Little Blue Penguins to name a few. Due to the increasing pressure from non-indigenous predators like possums, stoats, ferrets, feral cats, goats and pigs, these populations have either been wiped out or seriously diminished.
As a result of the extensive size of the environment we want to assist, we will be breaking our aspirations into manageable projects to ultimately achieve our long term goal. These projects will be highly dependent on achieving funding and a ready supply of dedicated volunteers.
Our immediate aim is to protect and enhance the historical breeding grounds of the Little Blue Penguin on our Palliser coastline, so "Project Penguin" was initiated. Our coastal strip forms a natural wildlife corridor leading up to the Aorangi Range and is critically important as a breeding ground for the endangered Little Blue Penguin. These little guys are only found on the New Zealand coastline and the southern coast of Australia, with their numbers in serious decline. We aim to educate the public about their presence and the immediate need to control dogs in the area (unfortunately the penguins make a tasty snack for them), install predator control traps along the coastal buffer zone as well as artificial nesting boxes which they will happily move into, and try to build their numbers up again.