The Kapiti Coast Biodiversity Project became an Incorporated Society in April 2019. Prior to incorporation, its initial three year project ended in April 2018. This project was supported by a Ministry for the Environment grant to assist volunteers to improve biodiversity on the Kapiti Coast. Four main areas on the southern Kapiti Coast were covered in the work - Queen Elizabeth Park, the Paekakariki-Pukerua Bay escarpment, the Whareroa Farm Reserve and part of Perkins farm/Middle Run. It was run through the Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park.
There were six streams of work.
• Birds, including Korora (little blue penguin)
• Rare dune plants
• Native freshwater fish and other aquatic life
• Increasing animal pest control across the region, including in urban areas
A key focus was on 'citizen science' and public education. The project involved four main land owners - DOC, Greater Wellington Regional Council, KiwiRail and the New Zealand Transport Agency. The Kapiti Coast District Council also support restoration efforts within the area. In addition, the project supported the work of urban trappers, in particular the Paekakariki 'Rat Pack' and Predator Free Pukerua Bay. More detailed information on the projects can be found in the documents section of this website.
During life of the project there have been two active Facebook pages. One is the open 'Kapiti Biodiversity Project'. The other is the 'Kapiti Mainland Island'. This is closed group and is used by the pest trappers in the area to share information. In addition a number of volunteers with the wider project have used iNaturalist to record field observations.
In late 2017, the Kapiti Biodiversity Project obtained a one year grant from the Department of Conservation to further pest control on the Kapiti Coast. This project was run through Nga Uruora- Kapiti Project. One key part of that project was to test motion cameras including a focus on lizards.
We are still actively working with korora - little blue penguin. There are small known populations nesting in Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay and we are working with local residents and Council to let people know we are working to protect and conserve the remnant populations in these areas. New residents are being informed of their presence and offered penguin nesting boxes. Signage and leafleting is alerting people to the need for good dog control, and footprint surveys are being conducted regularly.
Further up the coast, we are currently being funded by DOC in partnership with Air New Zealand, to survey the coastline from Paraparaumu to Otaki for the presence of korora in those areas. All coastal properties have been leafleted in late 2019 asking locals for feedback on possible sightings of penguins in their area, and footprint and dog detector surveys are planned for 2020/21 nesting season. Anyone with information is welcome to contact the co-ordinator: Glenda Robb at [email protected] or Mobile: 021 110 4277.
The KCBP was also successful in the DOC Community Fund 2019 funding round. We are undertaking a feasibility study for building a predator proof fence in order to protect and grow lizard populations on the Kapiti coast.