02 June 2015

PWMT - Pukawa Wildlife Management Trust

The PWMT was established in 2007.  Before that, a group of people led by Jean Stanley had been working for five years to restore the natural environment about Pukawa on the southern shores of Lake Taupo (Taupo Moana). The same work continues today, albeit somewhat refined.

Pukawa is an area of some significance in New Zealand history being the place where the Ngati Tuwharetoa paramount chieftainship was established, where the first Maori king was chosen at an early hui and from where the first National Park was gifted to Aotearoa/New Zealand. The Pukawa area consists of a local papakaianga and marae (the recently opened wharenui is superb) together with a small village nestled into the bush containing the homes of both permanent residents and holiday makers.

The aim of the Trust is to improve the indigenous flora and fauna (mainly the bird life) in the Pukawa area.  The main area is some 160 hectares of native bush including the village.  Much of this bush contains regrowth (about 70 years) but there are some areas of mature podocarp forest remaining from the early fires and felling, as well as some wetland.  The work of the PWMT has had excellent results. Pigeon, tui, fantails and bellbirds are most common and whiteheads, tomtits and robins are being seen with increasing frequency. The best news of late has been the sighting and hearing of bush robins throughout the bush.  This is different from the occasional one or two seen there of recent years and suggests that some breeding may be taking place. The NZ Falcon may be seen occasionally about the fringes of our bush area - another good sign.

Recently Waikato University (Dr Kim King and Don Scurr) demonstrated how effective our efforts have been by comparing the activity of rats in our area compared with an unmanaged area.  Very satisfying to all our group. See here.  A summary of our efforts has been published in Kokako, the journal of the NZVA Wildlife Branch. If you want to hear how good our dawn chorus is click here where you will also find our internet site which has lots of information about the work of the PWMT. Like all projects of this nature the battle against the baddies is never ending - we keep working willingly and are tweaking our methods all the time to to enable greater efficacy.

The work of the PWMT has been assisted with funding over the years by Waikato Regional Council, Huckleberry's Charitable Trust, the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust (Mighty River Power), PPOA and several others.  Several other individuals gift to the PWMT, some on a regular basis. PWMT needs ongoing funding to maintain consumables (mainly lures and poison baits) and also to replace traps and bait stations. When funds run short the Trust makes application to funding sources such as above. This has become increasingly difficult for all groups such as ours as the economic situation has affected funders capital. If you can't get down and dirty with the vermin you can help financially.

Donations to the PWMT may be made to the Secretary, Mrs Jean Stanley, 7 Hauraki Tce., Pukawa Bay, Turangi or directly to the PWMT Kiwi Bank account number 389 002 0326435 00 making sure you are identified in the direct banking reference. Our PWMT is recognised as a charity for taxation purposes. What a place!

Pure Gold - Part of Pukawa Bush Area