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History of Kotukutuku Ecological Restoration Project
The Kapiti Wellington district has a number of significant lowland coastal kohekohe forests, which are considered rare in the lower North Island region and are particularly susceptible to animal pests such as possums and rats. Most of the Kapiti Coast’s lowland kohekohe forest has been lost to development resulting in the remnants being within areas already in the conservation estate and administered by the Department of Conservation (Department of Conservation – Kapiti Area Conservation Action Plan 2009-2014). Some remnants on private land which are not covenanted or similarly protected are still at risk due to ongoing degradation.
This project seeks to build upon a significant ecological site that has established kohekohe lowland coastal forest along with regenerating mature kanuka. Due to over 20 years of stock exclusion and possum control the native flora has significantly naturally rejuvenated and the project wants to build upon this platform by undertaking a predator suppression strategy to enhance the sites biodiversity. This will protect and add to the sites fauna biodiversity. Furthermore, it is hoped that the project will provide an educational and practical example of what an ecological restoration project can achieve on private land.