Arthur's Pass Wildlife Trust
The Arthur’s Pass Wildlife Trust is a community-driven charitable trust undertaking predator control and species study work within Arthur’s Pass National Park. Whilst working within Department of Conservation guidelines, it is an independent voluntary group keenly interested in species recovery, research and conservation advocacy/education.
Arthur's Pass National Park, 145 km north west of Christchurch.
Commencing in 2005 as the Arthur’s Pass Roroa Recovery Project, in a partnership with BNZ Save the Kiwi and DOC, a comprehensive network of trapping lines was laid out through the Bealey Valley, primarily focusing on mustelids - which seriously impact on the locally threatened Great Spotted Kiwi/roroa, Kea, Blue Duck/whio and Rock Wren populations. Trap management continues to be undertaken by a group of dedicated volunteers, now also incorporating trap lines in the adjacent Crow Valley and on Bealey Spur. Catch results can be viewed on the Trust’s website.
In 2008, following extensive call count monitoring, the Trust commenced a study of the locally domiciled GSK population, involving the radio-tagging of adult and sub-adult birds, together with – uniquely – the in situ monitoring of incubation and hatching, and subsequent chick development, in a predator managed environment. (Most kiwi projects utilize ONE Operation nest egg practices which necessitate the removal of the egg from the nest, prior to hatching). Chick growth and dispersal trends are observed within the bird study, also providing upbringing, interaction and territorial data for review by the Kiwi Recovery Group. There remains a shortfall of knowledge about this species - the largest of the five kiwi - whose habitation is now restricted to Arthur’s Pass NP, the Paparoas and NW Nelson, and such information is valuable.
The Arthur's Pass Wildlife Trust was established in 2010. Currently there are 28 traplines (25 in the project areas and 3 at Bealey Spur) consisting of 378 stoat traps and 144 possum feed stations.