Forest & Bird is New Zealand’s leading independent conservation organisation — protecting wildlife and wild places, on land and in the sea. For nearly a century they have been protecting and restoring Aotearoa's wildlife and wild places - on land and in the sea.
The Catlins holds a special place in the heart of Forest & Bird. The Catlins comprises an area in the southeastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The area lies between Balclutha and Invercargill, straddling the boundary between the Otago and Southland regions. It includes the South Island's southernmost point, Slope Point. A rugged, sparsely populated area, this ecological wonderland includes a variety of ecosystems, including virgin and regenerating podocarp and hardwood forests, a mosaic of wetlands, an estuary, pingao sand dunes, oioi rushlands, frost flats, manuka shrubland, and more. Two Tautuku river catchments are of national significance because they still contain native forest cover from their headwaters to the sea.
This huge area is home to a diverse plant, bird, fish, and animal life, including species that have disappeared from many other parts of mainland New Zealand – red and yellow-crowned kākāriki, long-tailed bats, the elusive Tautuku forest gecko, fernbird, rifleman, kārearea.
It is here that Forest & Bird has established an ambitious landscape-scale restoration project envisaged as an “Ark in the Park” for the South Island. The aim of the Tautuku Restoration Project is to restore the landscape so nature present in the area can thrive and locally extinct species can be reintroduced. The project will also contribute towards the national goal of a Predator-Free New Zealand by 2050 and help the forest become a carbon sink to mitigate against climate affects. Tautuku is within one of DOC’s 13 ecological management areas in the Catlins, but it doesn’t have enough resources to fund predator control in all of the country’s public conservation estate, even in priority areas like this. This is one reason why Forest & Bird has stepped in to help.
We have decided to donate 20 cents from every 200g coffee pack sold on the South Island to Forest and Bird to help protect threatened species in the Catlins. These packs will have a special sticker with one of three threatened birds in the Catlins. The birds are the Rifleman, the Kārearea and the South Island Fernbird, and we will release a blog on each bird in the coming weeks.