Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust

Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust (MEIT) has received $5,213 to purchase new clothing for staff and volunteers to wear as part of the visit of Sirocco the Kᾱkᾱpo in partnership with the Kᾱkᾱpo Recovery programme.

Maungatautari is a 3, 400 hectare forested mountain in the Waikato Basin. It is an internationally significant restoration site, protected by a 47km predator-proof fence. The Trust is tasked with preserving native plants and species that are under threat, whilst also reintroducing species that are endangered across New Zealand. As part of the Trust’s work, a programme of reintroductions has already seen the return of many threatened species such as Kaka, Hihi, Giant Weta, North Island Robin and the Kiwi.

Kᾱkᾱpo, the world’s rarest species of parrot and possibly the oldest living bird, is part of a reintroduction programme that the Trust is planning for the region. Sirocco is the champion bird for the Kᾱkᾱpo Recovery Programme and it is hoped that his visit help to raise awareness for the Kᾱkᾱpo. With only 126 left in the wild the species is critically endangered and it has become vital to increase public awareness for New Zealand’s conservation plight.

“We are delighted with the assistance from the Mazda Foundation for the funding of the uniforms. The weather at Maungatautari is varied and staff often host our interactive guided walks through the forest at night, so it’s really important that they have the right clothing to stay warm and dry,” says, Malcolm Anderson, General Manager of Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust.

A purpose-built professionally designed outdoor enclosure is being constructed in Maungatautari which will replicate Sirocco’s natural, mountainous bush surroundings.