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Auckland Zoo field conservation report 2015 – 2016 (For the financial year beginning 1 July 2015 ending 30 June 2016)

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Auckland Zoo and the support of wildlife conservation in the wild Zoos play an increasingly important role in the conservation of species and habitats in the wild. Members of the World Zoo and Aquarium Association (WAZA) currently collectively spend an estimated $425million per year on conservation actions in the wild. Zoos are therefore the third largest supporter of wildlife conservation globally. Auckland Zoo’s mission is to, ‘Bring People Together to Build a Future for Wildlife’. One of the five strategies identified to help deliver on this mission is, ‘Conserving wildlife in wild places’. Auckland Zoo believes that the best place to conserve wildlife is in the wild. Our objectives and activities – both in the zoo and beyond the perimeter fence – reflect this priority of supporting and delivering effective field - or wild – or in situ conservation One of the key ways in which Auckland Zoo supports wildlife conservation in the wild – both in New Zealand and around the world - is through the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund. The Conservation Fund supports conservation efforts in the wild in two main ways: •

Supporting our field conservation priorities by providing financial resources to initiatives and projects carried out by external organisations and individuals By supporting our own staff to develop or utilise specialist skills and participate in field conservation initiatives – this can include both projects led by Auckland Zoo and those led by other conservation organisations.

The 2015/16 year could be summarised as ’back to business as normal’ following the challenges and consequences of lower than expected onsite zoo visitation of 2014/15. We delivered all budgeted grants to all our long term partners and added for the first time a South American project and grew support of those operating in the Pacific Islands, a region we have identified for further portfolio development. We also processed two rounds of small grants awards which continues to attract a growing number of applications. The new relationship with the Auckland Communities foundation (ACF) as grant administrators is working well with all operations fully transitioned as at 31/06/16 from council to ACF, marking the coming 2016/17 year as the first delivering anticipated efficiencies and streamlining with the ability to maximise returns on held funds.

Index List and summary of category 1 & 2 domestic grants List and summary of category 1 & 2 international grants List and summary of category 3 grants (Small grants)

4 4 5

Domestic portfolio project outlines 1. Department of Conservation. Kākāpō monitoring 2. Department of Conservation. Otago skink. 3. Forest & Bird. Te Henga Wetland Restoration.

7 8 9 2


4. Auckland Zoo. Archey’s frog translocation. 5. Fauna Finders. Rough gecko research. 6. Department of Conservation. Roy’s Peak gecko project 7. Auckland Zoo. Kākāriki research. 8. Dr Louise Chilvers/Massey University. NZ sea lion research. 9. Motutapu Restoration Trust. Pāteke translocation 10. Forest and Bird. White head translocation. (Ark in the Park) 11. Kea Conservation Trust. Community kea survey and monitoring. 12. Auckland museum. Fluttering shearwater research. 13. Department of Conservation. Bat project

10 12 14 15 17 18 20 21 23 25

International portfolio project outlines 14. Giraffe Conservation Foundation. (Namibia) 15. Red Panda Network. (Nepal) 16. The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. (Indonesia) 17. Centre for Conservation and Research. (Sri Lanka) 18. Biodiversity & Elephant Conservation Trust. (Sri Lanka) 19. 21st Century Tiger. (Indonesia) 20. Cheetah Outreach Trust. (South Africa) 21. Takituma Conservation Area. (Rarotonga) 22. Lowveld Rhino. (Zimbabwe) 23. Tasmanian devil programme. (Australia) 24. SOP Manu. (Tahiti) 25. Spider Monkey Conservation Project. (Venezuela)

27 29 31 33 35 37 38 40 42 44 45 47

Small Grants Programme project outlines 26. Zoo Atlanta 27. Mikajy Natiora Association 28. Mara Conservancy 29. Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) 30. Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana (UNEG) 31. The Elizabeth Economic and Social Welfare Initiative (EESWI) 32. Global Link Organisation 33. Eastern Bay of Islands Preservation Society 34. Bridgette Farnworth University of Waikato 35. Eli Christian Massey University 36. Aaranyak

50 52 54 56 58 60 61 63 64 66 68

Auckland Zoo staff in the field 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Introduction Auckland Zoo involvement Geographical distribution, project location and field work times Project focus and time distribution Appendix 1: Summary of Auckland Zoo’s 45 field work projects

70 70 71 72 74

Summary category 1 & 2 domestic grants 3


Partner organisation

Amount to

date

Amount 2015/16

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Department of Conservation. Kākāpō Department of Conservation. Otago skink Forest and Bird habitat Te Henga Auckland Zoo. Archey’s frog translocation Fauna Finders. Rough gecko Department of Conservation. Roy’s Peak gecko Auckland Zoo. Kākāriki research on Tiritiri Matangi Dr Louise Chilvers. NZ sea lion

$50,000 $21,714.20 $35,700 $14,750 $8000 $3000 $60,169 $30,000

$12,500 $883.20 $12,500 $14,750 $8,000 $3000 $21,500 $5,000

9 10 11 12 13

Motutapu Restoration Society. Forest and Bird. (Ark in the Park) Kea Conservation Trust. Auckland Museum. Fluttering shearwater Massey University. Lesser short-tailed bat Total

$35,000 $75,666 $61,550 $5,000 $20,140 $420,689

$5,000 $10,000 $15,000 $5,000 $10,000 $123,133.20

Summary category 1 & 2 international grants

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Partner organisation

Amount to date

Amount 2015/16

Giraffe Conservation Foundation (Namibia) Red Panda Network (Nepal) Sumatran Orang-utan Conservation Programme (Indonesia) Centre for Conservation and Research (Sri Lanka) Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust (Sri Lanka) 21st Century Tiger (Indonesia) Cheetah Outreach (South Africa) Takituma Conservation area project (Rarotonga) Lowveld Rhino Trust (Zimbabwe) Zoo And Aquaria Association (Australia) SOP Manu (Tahiti) Spider Monkey Conservation Project (Venezuela) Total

$62,192 $70,471 $452,735

$17,500 $10,000 $57,221

$85,489 $84,098

$17,841 $20,000

$137,424 $54,900 $20,240 $16,700 $5,000 $20,000 $8,000 $1,007,249

$20,000 $7,500 $10,480 $7,500 $5,000 $10,000 $8,000 $191,042

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Summary category 3 grants

1

2

3 4 5

6 7

8 9

10

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Project title

location

Amount 2015/16

Conservation of the critically endangered alligator lizard Abronia campbelli in eastern Guatemala through habitat restoration and community forest management Incentivising local communities for the conservation of the critically endangered blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) Mara Dog vaccination project No croaking! Saving South Africa’s endangered Mistbelt chirping frog Ecology and conservation of Amaurospiza carrizalensis (Lentino & Restall, 2003) in the Lower Caroní River, Venezuela Elephant and Forest Conservation Project Community participation in conservation of Encephalartos equatorialis in Mukonu district, Uganda Eastern Bay of Islands Citizen Scientist Project Can fear deter: Does light at night reduce the reinvasion potential of feral nocturnal rodents at conservation sanctuaries in New Zealand? Demography and conservation of the Galapagos Racer (Pseudalsohpis biseralis) in Floreana Island and its islets Combining research and education for conservation of the endangered hog deer in Assam, India Total

Guatemala

$3,875

Madagascar

$5,000

Kenya South Africa

$3,468 $3,350

Venezuela

$3,100

Tanzania Uganda

$3,764 $5,000

New Zealand New Zealand

$2,728 $1,082

Ecuador

$3,000

India

$4,130 $38,497

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Domestic portfolio Category one and two domestic grants

The Conservation Fund Working group and the Conservation Fund Committee reviewed and approved 13 separate domestic grants to nine organisations including three in partnership with the NZ Department of Conservation, two with Forest and Bird and two on projects lead by Auckland Zoo in 13 different locations around NZ. What is a Category 1 project – On-going annual support of projects (three or more years) for which the Conservation Fund allocation represents a significant part of the project’s overall budget. Category 1 projects will often have direct Auckland Zoo staff involvement, will link directly to species or exhibits/zones at Auckland Zoo and will feature heavily in the interpretation/conservation messaging of that exhibit/zone. Category 1 projects potentially have no upper limit for financial and in kind support. What is a Category 2 project – Shorter-term support of projects (less than three years) where Conservation Fund support will be specifically directed towards getting new initiatives started or supporting specific components of an on-going project (e.g. a training programme, short research project, construction of facilities, purchase of field equipment etc.). These projects may or may not have direct Auckland Zoo involvement, but should link clearly to species or exhibits/zones at Auckland Zoo. Category 2 projects can be elevated to Category 1 projects after a period of three years of continuous support.

Keeper Joel Milicich and New Zealand sea lion 6


Domestic portfolio

1. Partner organisation: Department of Conservation Website: http://www.doc.govt.nz Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildsidenz

Programme: Night

Project title: Kākāpō Sky Ranger Project overview:

Focal species

Threat status

Kākāpō: Critically Strigops habroptila Endangered

The Sky Ranger project enables the Kākāpō Recovery team to monitor the health and activity of the kākāpō population on Hauturu Island through the use of a fixed wing plane and new transmitter technology. The “smart” transmitters report the kākāpō position; whether they are alive or dead, whether the females are nesting and, if so, for how long. The males’ transmitters provide information about which females they have mated with and when. Without ‘Sky Ranger’, rangers have had to physically track the birds to get the transmitter signal and data which is difficult on Hauturu due to its size (3100 ha) and steepness. The “Sky Ranger” project will allow effective monitoring of this very important kākāpō population on Hauturu. July 2016 update. Monitoring of the Hauturu kākāpō population continues and was integral in detecting breeding this season – although live chicks did not eventuate monitoring and early intervention provided the best possible chance. The disappointment of unsuccessful breeding on Hauturu was mitigated by a record season on Anchor and Codfish islands with 47 chicks hatched in the 2016 nesting season and as of July 2016, 34 of them were still surviving. Grant Total $ to Partner amount AZFP project? date since 2015/16 $12,500

$48,000

June 2013

Yes

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2. Partner organisation: Department of Conservation Website: http://www.doc.govt.nz

Programme: High Country

Project title: Last chance for the western Otago skink Project overview: Otago skinks are listed as Nationally Critical. Endemic to Otago, they were once widespread across the tussock and schist rock landscape but are now restricted to remnant populations at the eastern and western edges of their former range. The widely-separated eastern and western populations of the skink are genetically distinct and are considered separate evolutionary significant units for management purposes. Effective protection is currently in place in the Macrae’s Flat, where a large-scale DOC predator control operation is resulting in an increasing in skink numbers. Auckland Zoo’s initial investment was to establish a trap network to provide protection to (previously unprotected) Western populations, which were thought to be dangerously close to catastrophic collapse and extinction. Our annual grant commitment from 2013 2018 is to support maintenance of the trap network. July 2016 update: The extensive trapping operation continues to maintain predator numbers at very low levels. Based on a predator model developed by land care Research the team has been able to implement some changes to improve trapping efficiency reducing trapping effort by 20% without impacting effectiveness.

Focal species Otago skink: Oligosoma otagense

Threat status

Nationally Critical

Grant amount 2015/16

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$883.20

$21,714.20

April 2013

Yes

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3. Partner organisation: Forest and Bird Website: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ForestandBird

Programme: Wetlands

Project title: Te Henga wetland restoration Project overview:

Focal species

Threat status

To control mammalian predators in an area of some 500 to 600ha including te Henga wetland, Bethell’s Beach and Lake Wainamu. Pāteke were introduced in January 2015 with further releases anticipated in 2016 and 2017. Future stages of the project may also involve rodent control in selected parts of the wetland or surrounds. Pest mammal management will allow existing wetland species to recover and additional species may self-introduce. The project forms a continuous corridor from the Ark in the Park to the sea coast. Community involvement is present and increasing and ways to showcase wetland species and values are being investigated. Auckland zoos financial support covers ongoing pest control contractor services. July 2016 update: The Habitat Te Henga project has benefited from the Fund over the past 4 years with initial funds used to purchase traps and subsequently funding a contract trapper to protect the wetland, with 96 traps on nearly 30 kilometres checked fortnightly. Bringing back pāteke to these wetlands was the aim and trapping results have been such that survival of the translocated ducks [80%] has been excellent. This year the first pāteke ducklings were seen along with more frequent sightings of the adults and with a large number released this year [80 compared with the trial cohort of 20 in 2015] more can be expected to be seen in years to come. With 38 stoats, 37 weasels, 1 ferret, 2 feral cats, 171 rats and 48 hedgehogs trapped last year, not only will the translocated and locally bred pāteke have a greater survival but other wetland birds will also benefit. More frequent observations of bittern and spotless crake are being made while fernbird have become quite common. Grant Total $ to Partner amount AZFP project? date since 2015/16 9


Pāteke: Anas chlorotis

Near Threatened

$12,500

$35,700

June 2012

No?

4. Programme: Night

Partner organisation: Department of Conservation/Auckland Zoo

Project Title: Archey’s frog translocation Project Overview: Collection and transfer of 80 Archey’s frog Leiopelma archeyi from Whareorino Forest into captivity at Auckland Zoo in April/May 2015. After quarantine and sexing (approximately 3-4 months), transfer of 60 frogs from Auckland Zoo to Pukeokahu, Pureora Forest Park, to supplement an earlier translocated population. Twenty frogs will remain in captivity to assist with ongoing husbandry research. July 2016 update: Translocating the world’s no.1 EDGE amphibian In April 2016, following almost two years of planning, permit writing and preparation, 80 critically endangered Archey’s frogs were carefully collected from Whareorino Forest on the central west coast of the North island. The collecting trip was undertaken by staff from Auckland Zoo, assisted by DOC and a University of Canterbury PhD student. The frogs were collected in batches of 20 at 100m intervals along a single ridge-transect located 50m from the long-term frog study grids. The weather was perfect, mild and wet, and the frogs were abundant – testament to the value of the extensive and intensive rodent control that is undertaken here. The 5-strong collecting team collected 80 frogs within the 2-3cm size range and observed at least as many smaller and larger frogs within an hour. The 80 frogs were safely transported to the Auckland Zoo were they are over-wintering in permanent quarantine conditions. They have been faecalsampled for parasites, swabbed for DNA as part of the Canterbury student’s research, swabbed to

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confirm chytrid-fungus infection and will soon be sexed using urine hormone levels. Pending results of the chytrid-fungus screening and sexing we hope to select a cohort of 60 for release at Pukeokahu in Pureora Forest Park, in September, just in time for this year’s frog breeding season.

Focal species Archey’s frog Leiopelma archeyi

Threat status Critically Endangered

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$14,750

$14,750

2015

Yes

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5. Programme : High Country

Partner Organisation: Fauna Finders

Project Title: Survey for rough gecko (Naultinus rudis) to determine species’ distribution, threats and conservation status Project Overview: The project consists of a targeted survey for rough gecko to determine its current distribution, identify threats and potential management options and evaluate the species’ conservation status using New Zealand Threat Classification System. The rough gecko is one of nine species of “green gecko” – a term commonly applied to colourful, diurnal geckos in the endemic genus Naultinus. Rough geckos are found in native shrublands and forests between the Wairau River (inland Blenheim) and Waiau River in North Canterbury. There are only about two dozen records of the species from the wild, mostly dating back 10-50 years (DOC Herpetofauna Database). There is also a captive population of 65+ individuals, originating from wild-caught ancestors that were collected before this activity was prohibited. Known threats are predation by pest mammals and birds, habitat loss and illegal collection (poaching). A scarcity of recent sightings, on-going habitat loss and the lack of secure populations (e.g. on predator-free islands or in mammal-proof fenced sanctuaries) resulted in a worsening of the species’ conservation status in 2012 (from ‘Declining’ to ‘Nationally Vulnerable’; the highest threat category assigned to a green gecko species. The overall amount approved for this project is $24,000 over three years. 2015/16 Update The rough gecko is one of nine species of “green gecko” – a term commonly applied to colourful, diurnal geckos in the endemic genus Naultinus. Rough geckos are found in some native shrublands and forests between the Wairau River (inland Blenheim) and Waiau River in North Canterbury. There are only about two dozen records of the species from the wild, mostly dating back 10-50 years. The project consists of a targeted survey for rough gecko to determine its distribution, threats, management options and conservation status. Known threats are predation by pest mammals and 12


birds, habitat loss and illegal collection (poaching). A scarcity of recent sightings, on-going habitat loss and the lack of secure populations (e.g. on predator-free islands or in fenced sanctuaries) resulted in a worsening of the species’ conservation status in 2012 (from ‘Declining’ to ‘Nationally Vulnerable’; the highest threat category assigned to a green gecko species). Surveys conducted to date have revealed two new populations in the Waiau Valley and Seaward Kaikouras

Focal species

Rough gecko Naulltinus rudis

Threat status

Nationally Vulnerable

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$8,000

$8,000

2015

No

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6. Programme: High Country

Partner organisation: DOC

Project title: Detection and monitoring of Roy’s Peak gecko Project overview:

Focal species Roy’s Peak gecko Mokopirirakau sp.

Threat status Nationally Vulnerable

The Roy’s Peak gecko is secretive, largely nocturnal, and confined to mountainous areas of Otago. It was discovered in 1998 and is currently ranked by DOC as ‘Nationally Vulnerable’. There is a lot of doubt surrounding this threat status, due to a lack of information on population numbers. They are known from four mountain ranges: Richardson, Hector, Dunstan and Crown ranges (Roy’s Peak and Mount Alpha). However, there have been < 20 sightings of this gecko and very little is known about its biology, ecology, threats, or numbers. We aim to improve knowledge of Roy’s Peak geckos through survey of Roy’s Peak and Mount Alpha. We also aim to trial two new detection methods: double-layered Onduline ACOs (hourglass shape) and tracking cards inserted deep in rock crevices and amongst scree slopes / boulder fields. In addition we will continue with traditional search methods e.g. spotlighting. We think that the survey will provide valuable information on this population of Roy’s Peak gecko and the trialling of new detection techniques may result in breakthroughs of relevance to a wide range of New Zealand’s poorly known alpine lizards. July 2016 update: The survey was very successful with 79 OS geckos found. The survey also provided very important information that allowed us to better understand the OS gecko population abundance and distribution at this site and also allowed us to trial different detection methods for alpine geckos. Grant amount Total $ Partner AZFP 2014/15 to date since project? $3,000

$3,000

2015

No

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7. Partner organisation: Auckland Zoo Website: http://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz Programme: Islands Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AKLZOONZ Project title: Red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) health, disease and nesting study on Tiritiri Matangi Project overview: Currently Auckland Zoo is undertaking two long-term (5 year) studies with red-crowned parakeets on Tiritiri Matangi. The first is a nesting study to evaluate reproductive success and chick health, and the second is an annual mist-netting trip for health and disease screening of the adult population. Both projects aim to build on previous work carried out by Dr Luis Ortiz-Catedral and Dr Bethany Jackson and will provide a long-term dataset needed to understand to factors influencing annual variations in the health and reproductive success of this island population. This will provide us with important data to assist in future management and conservation efforts in red-crowned parakeets (RCP). July 2016 update: Funding from AZCF has provided resources for a long term research project focusing on health and disease of redcrowned parakeets on Tiritiri Matangi Island. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s breeding season recorded 19 chicks fledging from 15 monitored nests. Approximately one week prior to fledge date, chicks were banded, blood samples were taken to screen for beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) and look at the number of red blood cells present to determine whether they were suffering from anaemia. Preliminary results from this testing has shown that there may be a difference in the health of this population this year in comparison to previous years data. This finding highlights how useful the annual surveillance is that the Auckland Zoo team has been managing in both adult birds and chicks.

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The team will be out again this September for their annual trip to capture and test adult birds for this virus and report on any significant findings.

Focal species Red-crowned parakeet: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae

Threat status

Grant amount 2015/16

Total $ to date

Near Threatened

$21,500

$60,169.96

Partner since

June 2011

AZFP project?

Yes

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8. Programme: Coast

Partner organisations: Wildbase, Massey University/Department of Conservation

Project title: Pup production and re-colonisation of NZ sea lions (Phocarctus hookeri) – Stewart Island, New Zealand

Project overview: NZ sea lions are a nationally critical species in decline at their main breeding area at the Auckland Islands. This decline is mainly due to the impacts of humans, particularly fishing and in the past hunting. Part of DOC’s threatened species management plan is encourage the expansion and recolonisation of sea lion breeding areas to areas outside of the NZ sub Antarctic. Stewart Island is an area only recently (2010) determined to have breeding NZ sea lions, however since this date there have also been a three year old female sea lion and more than three adult male sea lions, known to have been shot on Stewart Island. This research is to undertake a survey of Port Pegasus, Stewart Island to understand the number of pups being born in that area and their distribution, therefore giving an estimate of the NZSL population at Stewart Island. This research will enable DOC to understand more about NZSLs numbers and distribution on Stewart Island and therefore help to try and reduce direct (shooting) and indirect conflicts that may occur with human activities. July 2016 update: A survey of Stewart Island was undertaken in March 2016 to investigate the presence, distribution and pup production of NZ sea lion. During this survey NZ sea lion pups are tagged to provide a pool of known age individuals for the estimation of species parameters such as survival, recruitment, movement patterns and reproductive rate. In total, 31 pups were tagged in 2016 (18 females and 13 males). Given these pups numbers have been above or near 35 pups for the last three years – this population is close to being considered the first NZ sea lion colony outside of the sub Antarctic since they went extinct from mainland NZ over 200 years ago. Annual surveys of Stewart Island are important as outlined in the Department of Conservation NZ sea lion Species Management Plan 20092014 and ongoing NZ sea lion Threat Management Process, as Stewart Island is a place of significance importance to understand distribution and abundance of recolonizing NZ sea lions. Already numerous sightings of Stewart Island 17


tagged animals have been made on mainland NZ, and being able to make the connection between these two populations is highly significant for the NZ sea lion species.

Focal species New Zealand sea lion: Phocarctos hookeri

Threat status

Grant amount 2015/16

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

Endangered

$5000

$30000

2011

Yes

9. Partner organisation: Restoration Society

Programme: Islands

Motutapu

Project Title: Release of captive bred pāteke on to Motutapu Island Project Overview: Motutapu was declared free of mammalian predators in 2011 after an extensive eradication programme. This significant event boosted ecological restoration, which is based on bringing species to Motutapu that are known to have been on the island or other inner Gulf islands in the past. Threatened and at risk species of national importance are a major part of the restoration plan to establish a sustainable ecosystem. Pāteke though classified as recovering are still at risk of extinction without management of the species. They are the rarest waterfowl on the mainland with numbers round the 2,000-2,500 mark. Motutapu has been identified as a suitable site to release pāteke due to its size, good habitat and the lack of predators. The planned 2016 release of pāteke on Motutapu is part of a multi-year project which commenced in May 2015 with the release of 20 birds. Each year’s

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release is a project sitting under the main project with its planning and funding requirements. Establishing pāteke on Motutapu achieves the goals of the recovery strategy to increase the number of large, sustainable populations along with increasing the range, size and connectivity of existing populations. The latter goal will be achieved with a meta population of pāteke on other predator free Hauraki Gulf islands and coastal sanctuaries bordering the Gulf. July 2016 update: Forty pāteke were released on Motutapu island in the Hauraki Gulf on 25 May 2016 and follows the release of twenty pāteke one year earlier. These releases are part of a multi-year programme to establish a resident pāteke population on Motutapu and enhances the restoration project taking place on the island. The project based on the planting of native vegetation enables the release of New Zealand fauna which are threatened on the mainland to an island free of introduced predators. The pāteke are sourced from a captive bred programme managed by the Pāteke Recovery Group. To monitor the pāteke coming from a captive environment to Motutapu twenty of the birds had transmitters attached. The birds are monitored regularly and tracked as they either stay close to the pond where they were released or move to other ponds and wetlands on the island. Being able to track the pāteke in this manner indicates how the birds are adapting to their new environment. Other costs of this year’s release in addition to the transmitters were harnesses to fit the transmitters to the pāteke and food pellets especially formulated for pāteke. The pellets are provided to the pāteke in the first few weeks and months after their release while they adapt to their new wild diet.

Focal species Pāteke

Threat status Recovering

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$5,000

$35,000

June 2012

Yes 19


10. Partner organisation: Forest and Bird Ark in the Park

Programme: Forest Project Title: Ark in the Park Whitehead translation Project Overview:

Threat status Not Whitehead Threate Mohoua albicilla ned Focal species

Ark in the Park is a true wilderness area – home to original native forest with giant kauri, kahikatea and rimu hundreds of years old. Clematis, kowhai and toropapa flower in abundance, with the calls of our recovering bird populations becoming more and more frequently heard as numbers increase. The data and learning experiences gained at the Ark are widely applicable for other sites throughout New Zealand as more mainland conservation sites are identified. The Ark’s whitehead recovery programme is a key part in ensuring this species establishes in the Ark to ensure the future success of this species within the mainland Auckland region. There is an existing collaboration between Auckland Zoo and Ark in the Park on kōkako survey work. This partnership has been working well and producing good outcomes for both. July 2016 update: Funding from Auckland Zoo has enabled the Ark in the Park community based conservation project to reintroduce a further 100 whitehead/pōpokotea into the Ark’s protected area. Whitehead were lost from the Waitakere Ranges but through the efforts of volunteers carrying out predator control and the Auckland Zoo’s support of the reintroduction programme they are now seen again and are known to be breeding. Auckland Zoo support covered essential gear and supplies such as specialist bird food, leg bands and mist nets as well as the expenses of a team of volunteers, led by an experienced contractor, who travelled to Tiritiri Matangi to spend four days catching the birds. The birds were then taken on the ferry in transport boxes to Ark in the Park for release. One hundred birds were released into the forest, watched by a crowd of school children and project supporters who had gathered to watch the occasion. Total $ to Partner AZFP Grant amount 2014/15 date since project? $10,000

$75,666

2003

Yes

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11. Programme: High Country

Partner organisation: Kea Conservation Trust

Project Title: Community kea survey and monitoring in the Matukituki Valley Project Overview: This project has three main aims to support kea conservation initiatives: i) run an initial catch trip to enable attachment of transmitters and bands to adults and bands to fledglings and juveniles, ii) monitor kea nest productivity and predator impact through the breeding season, iii) run a kea survey in January 2017 and combine with all other data to provide a baseline for the local kea population. An initial catch trip will be run in partnership with Department of Conservation Wanaka at the end of February 2016 as part of a combined threatened alpine species initiative which also takes into account Rock Wren. Radio transmitters will be placed on adult kea for tracking back to nest sites, identifying pairs and home territories. Active kea nests will then be identified and progress followed through the subsequent breeding season to ascertain productivity and predator impact. All progeny will be banded to enable visual ID and data entered into the main kea database. A follow up community summer survey and catch trip will then be conducted in January 2017 and additional funds for subsequent years investigated. July 2016 update: An initial catch trip in the East Matukituki Valley was run in partnership with Department of Conservation Wanaka and was done in conjunction with the DOC predator monitoring team. The aim was to identify and catch up resident adult females and attach radio transmitters to enable tracking back to nest sites this breeding season. A number of kea were sighted during the pm/am survey on the 17th â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 18th March up the East Matukituki Valley however no birds were caught. On the 19th March, the trip was postponed due to heavy rain. 21


The catch trip has now been rescheduled to restart at the end of January/beginning February 2017 and will be run in conjunction with the summer survey. Weather at this time should be more settled and breeding pairs with fledglings more easily identified on the hills.

Focal species Kea Nestor notabilis

Threat status Nationally Threatened

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$15,000

$61,550

2009

No

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12. Programme: Coast

Partner organisation: Auckland Museum

Project Title: Quantifying breeding biology of Hauraki Gulf fluttering shearwater (Puffinus gavia) in preparation for regional translocations. Project Overview: The translocation of seabirds is becoming an increasingly important conservation tool to restore lost ecological links between land and sea and thus enhance the ecological integrity of island restoration projects as well as enhance populations of translocated species. The fluttering shearwater is a prominent New Zealand indigenous seabird in the waters of the Hauraki Gulf, yet is of at-risk conservation status and surprisingly poorly studied nationally. Given the species distribution in northern New Zealand, fluttering shearwater are recognised as benchmark species for island restoration projects seeking to use seabirds to enhance whole ecosystem restoration and there is increasing interest in conducting translocations of the species within the Hauraki Gulf. In a multi-institutional collaboration this project aims to provide an understanding of the unknown breeding biology of fluttering shearwater that will facilitate the translocation of the species to restoration islands within the Hauraki Gulf. Such translocation will enable the enhancement of island ecosystems and provide avenues for public engagement with seabird and their ecological roles. In particular the study will be based at our existing seabird study site on Burgess Island (Mokohinau Group) and will support an MSc student â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Mr Martin Berg from Lund University (Sweden). The project will use both breeding burrow and tracking-based methods to study fluttering shearwater breeding on Burgess Island and has four objectives being to 1) quantify the breeding timetable of fluttering shearwaters; 2) understand chick provisioning behaviour; 3) quantify chick development; and 4) quantify chick immergence and fledging behaviour. July 2016 update: The fluttering shearwater is ubiquitous to the Hauraki Gulf and can often be seen in typical flip-glide flight close to the water near the coast. Funding by the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund supported the detailed study of fluttering 23


shearwaters throughout the breeding season of 2015/2016 on Burgess Island. This work has provided the first detailed description of the species breeding biology and chick development, foraging behaviour and at-sea distribution through miniaturised tracking technologies and an analysis of the current and historic diets of fluttering shearwaters using biochemical analyses of blood and feathers from field sampled and museum specimens. This research is currently being written up as part of an MSc thesis by Mr Martin Berg of Lund University and will be published as a series of papers available to the scientific and conservation community. Indirectly funding also contributed to our ongoing work on the Burgess Island seabird community by allowing researchers, conducting other studies, to share transportation costs.

Photo credits: Ma

Focal species Fluttering shearwater Puffinus gavia

Threat status At Risk

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$5,000

$5,000

2015

Yes

24


13. Programme: Night

Partner organisation: Massey University/DOC

Project Title: Preliminary disease survey of lesser short-tailed bat populations identified as potential source populations for translocations. Project Overview:

Focal species Lesser shorttailed bat Mystacina tuberculata rhyacobia

Threat status

Vulnerable

Disease has factored in the failure of numerous translocations of wildlife for conservation, including establishment of a short-tailed bat population on Kapiti Island. Wild animals naturally harbour a variety of commensal organisms that could potentially become pathogenic under the stress of translocation. Translocated animals may also acquire diseases from humans during captive management, or when exposed to novel pathogens at the release site. Furthermore, organisms carried by translocated animals could be pathogenic in other species, including naĂŻve wildlife at the release site, livestock or humans). Globally, bats are known to harbour a wide variety of potentially pathogenic organisms, including some of significance to human health. Disease is of significant concern for bat translocations because of its bearing on success, and also because translocated bats could home after exposure to novel pathogens at the release site, thereby endangering a naĂŻve source population. The risk of zoonotic diseases to people working with New Zealand bats is also poorly understood. Therefore, assessing disease risk is critical in the planning of further short-tailed bat translocations. Assessment of the health status of source populations will provide vital baseline information that can inform risk management and provide objective data for management actions during the translocation process. Grant Total $ to Partner amount AZFP project? date since 2014/15

$10,000

$21,140

May 2014

Yes

25


International portfolio Category one and two international grants Conservation Fund allocation represents a significant part of the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall budget. Category 1 projects will often have direct Auckland Zoo staff involvement, will link directly to species or exhibits/zones at Auckland Zoo and will feature heavily in the interpretation / conservation messaging of that exhibit/zone. Category 1 projects potentially have no upper limit for financial and in kind support. Category 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Shorter-term support of projects (less than three years) where Conservation Fund support will be specifically directed towards getting new initiatives started or supporting specific components of an ongoing project (e.g. a training programme, short research project, construction of facilities, purchase of field equipment etc.). These projects may or may not have direct Auckland Zoo involvement, but should link clearly to species or exhibits/zones at Auckland Zoo. Category 2 projects can be elevated to Category 1 projects after a period of three years of continuous support.

Photo credit: Giraffe Conservation Foundation

26


14. Partner organisation: Giraffe Conservation Foundation Website : http://www.giraffeconservation.org Programme: Africa

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GiraffeConservati onFoundation

Project title: Giraffe conservation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; education, awareness & conservation Project overview: Unlike most other large mega fauna, giraffe remain largely under-studied researched in the wild. Giraffe populations are in decline across Africa, with an estimated population of less than 80,000 down from 140,000 in the late 1990s. GCF and several associated researchers are at the forefront of giraffe conservation in Africa. While giraffe as a species are not considered threatened according to the IUCN, mostly due to data deficiency, two (sub) species are already listed as endangered and others have alarmingly low numbers and are in urgent need of conservation status review. GCF works on collating data from across the continent to help develop new profiles, materials and status reviews leading to new IUCN Red Listing for giraffe. GCF will also continue to take DNA samples from giraffe populations across Africa to clarify (sub) speciation of giraffe for the continent. Preliminary analysis of the Auckland Zoo supported research in Namibia indicates new and exciting results, which might change our view on giraffe taxonomy and distribution in Africa, and highlights more sampling is required to fill the few remaining gaps. July 2016 update: The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) has now received three years of invaluable support from Auckland Zoo. After initially funding a small but critical genetic sampling project in Namibia, Auckland Zoo now provides important core operational support to GCF. Auckland Zoo is currently the largest supporter of giraffe conservation in the region and facilitated GCF to grow from a volunteer-run to a professional organisation with now four staff in Namibia and Kenya. GCF has managed to put giraffe conservation on the international conservation agenda and provides technical support and expertise to 27


African governments, local communities, NGOs, researchers and students to secure a sustainable future for giraffe in Africa. Our ground-breaking long-term genetic sampling programme across the African continent is largely completed and an important publication that may change giraffe taxonomy has just been accepted. Auckland Zoo funding has not only assisted all the above but also the development of giraffe conservation country profiles for most giraffe range States. These profiles have formed the basis for the newly submitted IUCN Red List Assessments of giraffe and its subspecies by the IUCN SSC Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so stay tuned. Furthermore, GCF has a long-term giraffe conservation monitoring programme in Namibia and after a year of development, GCF now implements a dedicated environmental education programme in Namibiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital Windhoek. All these initiatives have been supported by Auckland Zoo and we look forward to continue this relationship as a long-term conservation partner.

Focal species Giraffe: Giraffa Camelopardalis

Threat status Least Concern

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$17,500

$62,192

June 2012

Yes

28


15.

Programme: Nepal

Partner organisation: Red Panda Network Website: http://redpandanetwork.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redpandanetwork

Project title: Community-based monitoring and awareness creation for red panda Conservation and development of the Red Panda Network community Conservation Resource Centre in Taplejung District of Eastern Nepal Project overview:

Photo credit: Axel Gebauer

Red Panda Network targets communities surrounding forest habitat in the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung corridor that supports approximately 25% of Nepalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s red panda population. The habitat is under threat from various anthropogenic activities. The proposed project addresses such threats by making local community feel responsible for conservation initiatives. The project will train 16 community forest guardians (FGs) for regular red panda monitoring and data collection, sensitize local people via workshops and media campaigns and form red panda conservation committees in each of the 8 village communities, covering 14 community forests. July 2016 update: Support from Auckland Zoo enabled Red Panda Network (RPN) to extend our red panda conservation programs throughout the entire red panda range of the PanchtharIlam-Taplejung (PIT) corridor in eastern Nepal. The PIT harbours nearly 25% of the total red panda population of Nepal and includes 605 square km of potential red panda habitat, making extremely important to the preservation of this species. Since 2010, RPN has been implementing an integrated conservation program titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Community Based Red Panda Conservationâ&#x20AC;? in 32 community forests of this corridor, and the Auckland Zoo has been supporting this initiative from the very beginning. Over the last six years, Auckland Zoo has provided NZ$ 71,186 to RPN. This support has allowed RPN to achieve the following: -Expanded project area from 4 to 27 Village Development Committees (VDCs), covering all red panda range in the PIT Corridor;

29


Photo credit : Sonam Tashi Lama

-Enhanced technical training and capacity-building of 28 Forest Guardians who conduct monthly monitoring in their community forest; -Established 23 monitoring blocks with a total transect length of 86.95km; -Increased awareness of nearly 5,000 local forest users through workshops, information boards, posters and a local FM radio station; -Completed feasibility study for a forest conservation carbon offset project. This study concluded that the standing biomass in the PIT Corridor to be 252 metric tons of carbon per hectare. Auckland Zoo has also remained integral to the development of the Community Conservation Resource Centre, which is still under progress. Auckland Zoo also helped us establish a field office in Taplejung, which was destroyed by fire on March 30th, 2015. RPN is very thankful for Auckland Zooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continued support and generosity.

Photo credit: Axel Gebauer

Focal species Red panda: Ailurus fulgens

Threat status Endangered

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$10,000

$71,798

2010

No

30


16. Partner organisation: The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) Website: http://www.sumatranorangutan.org Programme: Sumatra Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sumatranorangutan Project title: Jantho orangutan re-introduction project Project overview: A total of 17 orangutans have been transferred into Jantho Nature Reserve since July 1st 2014 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; July 31st 2015 bringing the total population to 70 orangutans. All orangutans which have been sent to Jantho have been released into the forest, except two â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ganteng and Locky. Both are taken to the forest daily and locked in cage overnight, as they are conditioned to the forest and learning critical survival skills. A total of 811 follows of orangutans were carried out and the animals monitored from nest to nest throughout this annual period. Monthly phenology data is continuing to be recorded from 16 permanent phenology plots and has been regularly recorded throughout the annual period. Over the past 6 months, staff have been using animal training skills to get small orangutans and 2 problem animal facilitate reintroduction back to the forest. Today, all animals go out in a school based process and are learning all forest skills, interacting with wild animals and starting to build nests. This has been excellent progress and the staff can now take data on each animal. 2015/16: This year we awarded two grants, the major grant of $55,000 was to continue our support of the Jantho release site and a further grant of $2,221 was awarded to facilitate work experience of a key SOCP keeper here at Auckland Zoo July 2016 update: The goal of the SOCP Jantho reintroduction programme is to establish a genetically-viable, self-sustaining wild population of this critically endangered species in a highly protected, expansive forest block. From July 2013-July 2016 a total of 49 orangutans 31


were reintroduced into the forests of the Jantho nature reserve, bringing the total released here to 88 individuals. Our postrelease monitoring team conducted approximately 2,350 nest-tonest orangutan follows, on average encountering 19 individuals per month, with a monthly average of 60 follows. Of the total 88 orangutans, 69 were encountered during the project period suggesting that the majority are successfully adapting to their new environment. In addition to monthly weather data (i.e. humidity, rainfall, temperature), regular phenology data continues to be collected from 16 permanent plots - all of which allow for us to examine the ecological factors influencing the new orangutan population. In April 2016, a site-wide survey of the 14,027-hectare reserve was initiated in order assess dispersal patterns further afield from the immediate release area. To date, 42 of the 61 grid cells have been surveyed. Preliminary results highlight two primary dispersal routes of released orangutans and highlight that some individuals have settled at least 10km from the release area. Based on the full results of this survey we plan to establish 3 satellite monitoring posts in the most heavily used sectors, from which staff can begin or end orangutan follows - thus allowing for a greatly expanded understanding of range use and rehabilitant adaptation to new forest areas, which in turn aids in our ability to improve the reintroduction process. Focal species Sumatran orangutan: Pongo abelii

Threat status

Grant amount 2015/16

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project

Critically Endangered

$57,221

$452,735

2002

Yes

32


17. Partner organisation: Centre for Conservation and Research Sri Lanka. (CCR) Website: http://www.ccrsl.org

Programme: Sri Lanka

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CCR.Elephants Project title: GPS-satellite tracking of Sri Lankan Elephants Project overview: Human- elephant conflict is a significant problem in Sri Lanka. On average, in a year, 148 elephants and 59 humans are killed. Due to the reduction of elephant habitats, these conflicts are inevitable and increasing. The present elephant population is estimated at around 5,500. With such annual losses, this population is severely threatened. Long and shortterm strategies, are urgently needed if these elephants are to be saved. One of the main constraints for effective environmental conservation in Sri Lanka is the lack of scientific information to develop management plans, and guide environmental conservation and management. CCR was set up to fill this need by conducting, supporting and encouraging research into all aspects of the environment. CCR have conducted many research projects over the years including 17 years of research CCRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team have put into studying Sri Lankan elephants using radio telemetry and more recently GPS-satellite tracking. The success of their findings is now influencing government decisions. July 2016 update: With a population one tenth of African elephants, Asian elephants are globally endangered. Their biggest threat is human-elephant conflict, which is caused by development in areas with elephants. Across elephant range, humanelephant conflict mitigation and elephant management has been based on beliefs and human needs, rather than data on elephants, and has focussed on limiting elephants to protected areas. CCR's research over the last 12 years has conclusively shown that this approach has failed in mitigating the conflict and in conserving elephants. Data critical for management and conservation planning, such as ranging 33


Focal species Asian elephant: Elephas maximus

Threat status Endangered

patterns, habitat use, association and response to management actions, can only be gained through radiotelemetry and long-term study. AZCF has been supporting CCR's efforts in obtaining such information for many years. Based on our research findings, we together with the Sri Lankan Wildlife Conservation Department are developing and implementing an alternative approach to elephant conservation and conflict mitigation. It advocates elephantlandscapes consisting of both protected and non-protected areas, and using scientific data to guide development and management. A cornerstone of CCR's new approach is allowing elephants to remain outside protected areas and promoting humanelephant coexistence by introducing community electric fences that protect villages and paddy-fields. These efforts too are supported by AZCF, providing relief from humanelephant conflict to local communities and demonstrating the success of the approach, thus facilitating its wider acceptance and implementation. Grant Total $ to Partner amount AZFP project? date since 2014/15 $17,841

$85,489

June 2012

No

34


18. Partner organisation: Biodiversity & Elephant Conservation Trust

Programme: Sri Lanka Project title: Schools Awareness Programme/national parks Project overview:

Educating up and coming generations is a long term approach building awareness and appreciation for elephants. The present elephant population is estimated at around 5,500. With such annual losses, this population is severely threatened. Long-term and short-term strategies, are urgently needed if these elephants are to be saved. The creation of awareness is one of the conservation strategies that have been adopted, especially for those living in the areas of human-elephant conflict. Awareness creation is an integral part of the conservation plan for the wild elephant. The Biodiversity & Elephant Conservation Trust has launched an awareness program in schools in the areas that have been affected by these conflicts. Through our interactive program, we address the value of elephants, the causes of conflict, how to minimize the conflicts and stress the need for conservation. The sessions have been successful in changing childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attitudes. The Schools Awareness Programme has covered, in the last 10 years, at 150 schools per year, over 1,500 schools. The year 2014 is the twelfth year of this project. The success of our efforts has spurred us to continue and expand this program which is having a very positive impact. July 2016 update: The Schools Awareness Programme which the Biodiversity & Elephant Conservation Trust carried out in in 150 schools in 2016, on behalf of the Auckland Zoo, was very successful. The sessions were in schools where human-elephant conflicts are most intense. The programme was conducted in 8 districts in Sri Lanka. Most of these schools are in the interior of the poor rural parts of the country. The average attendance at each session is about 125 children and 5 teachers. The objectives of this programme are to create an awareness amongst the children living in the areas 35


Focal species Asian elephant: Elephas maximus

Threat status Endangered

where there are human-elephant conflicts on: the value of elephants; their ecology, biology and physiology; their role in the religion and culture of the country; that only a few elephants cause damage to crops and houses, and cause human fatalities and of the need to conserve elephants for the future as part of their and the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heritage. After each session children who are interested in follow up action, are given details of whom to contact etc. The main contacts are the Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Biodiversity & Elephant Conservation Trust. Evaluation The evaluation of the schools program carried out in a representative set of schools, reveals that the program has been successful in terms of delivering a complete knowledge of elephants to the children. It also has successfully created some long term impacts that can be further strengthened through proper assistance. The quality of this program has evolved through the years and is now of a very high standards both in terms of the lectures and the multimedia presentations. Grant Total $ to Partner amount AZFP project? date since 2015/16 November $20,000 $84,098 No 2011

36


19. Partner organisation: 21st Century Tiger Website: http://www.21stcenturytiger.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/21stCenturyTiger

Programme: Sumatra Project title: Kerinci Seblat Tiger Protection & Conservation Project overview:

Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP) is the largest protected area in Sumatra covering more than 1.38 million hectares (5,350 square miles) of tropical forest in 13 districts and two municipalities of the provinces of West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu and South Sumatra. The park protects Sumatra’s single largest tiger population with a population of at least 166 individuals - excluding tigers moving at park-edge or in forests bordering the park - and the highest tiger occupancy (83%) of any protected area in Sumatra. The 2014/15 grant amount was raised through the generosity of Artist Hilary Weeks who held an exhibition of works with proceeds going to the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund for tigers in the wild. July 2016 update: Funding from Auckland Zoo provided support to six Tiger Protection & Conservation Units and back-up team to conduct patrols and other activities in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park and park-edge districts of four provinces of Sumatra A total of 109 forest patrols were conducted between August 2015-June 2016 across a walking distance of 1910km with a minimum of 96 Sumatran tiger records made and with tigers present on just over 60% of all patrols. TPCU rangers detected and destroyed a total of 50 active tiger snares in the course of 15 patrols – the great majority launched on the basis of ‘information received’. However, while threat remains high, patrol records advise the number of active tiger snares destroyed almost halved between January and May 2016 compared with the same months in 2014 and 2015. More than 110 wildlife crime investigation reports were logged with one long-running investigation culminating in tiger law enforcement in early January 2016 and the arrest of the leader of a tiger poaching syndicate active in three provinces of Sumatra and a second tiger poacher. One of these two men was subsequently sentenced to a four years custodial term – the heaviest ever made under current Indonesian wildlife crime legislation and a substantial fine while 37


the second was sentenced to three years imprisonment and a heavy fine. Additionally four human-tiger conflicts were mitigated by TPCUs, one involving an incident in which a forest-edge farmer was bitten by a tiger cub while clearing undergrowth in his plantation.

Focal species Sumatran tiger: Panthera tigris

Threat status

Grant amount 2015/6

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

Endanger ed

$20,000

$157,424

2006

No

20. Partner organisation: Cheetah Outreach Trust Website: http://www.cheetah.co.za Programme: Africa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CheetahOutreach

Project title: Conservation of South Africa’s free-ranging cheetah, through farmer-wildlife mitigation, Territory East. Project overview: In alignment with South Africa’s National Action Plan for the Conservation of Cheetahs (2009), the aims of this project are: 1. Conservation of free ranging cheetahs, and farmland biodiversity protection, through farmer-wildlife conflict mitigation, and the establishment of a livestock guarding dog culture throughout South Africa. 2. Education of relevant stakeholders regarding effective livestock husbandry practices. 3. Promotion of co-existence between predators, game farmers and livestock farmers, and supporting farming communities as custodians of indigenous biodiversity. 4. Assessing the impact of the guarding dogs on predator ecology and cheetah presence. 5. Raising the status of the cheetah, and increasing national awareness and educating learners to develop an understanding of the value of their natural wildlife heritage. With 166 dogs placed, there are now more than 250,000 hectares of “predator safe” farmland in South Africa, where 38


the farmers have committed to no longer using lethal predator persecution methods. As part of the programme’s ongoing development, Cheetah Outreach has re-established its presence in Limpopo Province, now managing the livestock guarding dog placements there. July 2016 update: Since the beginning of 2015, the Cheetah Outreach Trust has placed 35 Anatolian Shepherd Livestock Guarding Dogs (LGD) in South Africa, and a total of 250 LGDs have been placed since the project’s inception. During the first year of placement, all puppies are monitored during face-to-face visits by our two field officers. Support from Auckland Zoo in 2015 towards the operational costs of our programme within free-ranging cheetah territory has enabled Cheetah Outreach to place and undertake the intensive monthly monitoring & management process needed for each Anatolian Shepherd puppy’s first year on a farm. 20 new Anatolian Shepherd puppies are placed annually and to visit each dog on a monthly basis requires highly strategic project planning. By donating funds towards the essential logistical costs associated with travelling to each farm, Auckland Zoo has helped to ensure the successful establishment of effective guardian dogs. This is paramount in maintaining positive relationships with participating farmers who benefit from dramatic reductions in stock losses and as a result, cease their use of all lethal predator controls. By increasing farmer’s tolerance towards predators, more hectares of “predator-friendly” habitat is conserved for the cheetah and other farmland species. Since 2005 the programme has safeguarded 363,305ha of land and ongoing support from Auckland Zoo has significantly contributed towards this achievement.

Focal species Cheetah: Acinonyx jubatus

Threat status Vulnerable

Grant amount 2015/16

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$7,500

$54,900

2007

No

39


21. Programme: Pacific Islands

Partner organisation: Takitumu Conservation Area Project

Project title: Continuing management of the recovered population of the endemic kakerori on Rarotonga and Atiu Project overview: The Kakerori Recovery Programme was started in 1987, when its first census found 38 birds. Numbers fell to 29 by 1989, making kakerori one of the world’s ten rarest, but by then we knew that ship rats were preying on nests, and feral cats were catching foraging birds. Regular, consistent rat poisoning was started to protect breeders. Numbers of birds increased immediately and have increased nearly every year up to the present. At 134 birds in 1996, the Takitumu Conservation Area started, with 5 years of GEF funding, and took over the KRP. The TCA Project is community based; its only revenue is from Eco tours. 50% of Eco tour profits (usually <$5k pa) is returned to the 3 landowning clans for community use. The balance maintains the area itself, with only leftovers to support the bird work, which has relied on external funding since (and before) GEF. In 2000, IUCN upgraded the 200+ kakerori on Rarotonga to ‘Endangered’, and again to ‘Vulnerable’ in 2012, at a time when combined numbers on Rarotonga and Atiu had topped 500. Achieving ‘Vulnerable’ was a milestone, but it still means just that. On Rarotonga, with its world-wide transport links, 400 birds would be threatened should a new danger arrive. Although the bird will be saved more surely only when the Atiu population reaches 500 breeders; our present aim is to get it beyond 250 July 2016 update: Support from AZCF has been vital to the later stages of a marathon effort to save a small bird from extinction. The kakerori or Rarotonga Monarch is a Cook Islands endemic

40


Focal species Kakerori: Pomarea dimidiata

Threat status Critically Endangered

thought to have become extinct in the late 19th century, until a tiny population was rediscovered in the mid-1980s. Researchers saw early that the key to saving this fragment on Rarotonga would be regular, methodical and meticulous predator control; they identified the ship rat as the main culprit. Also, to lessen the risk, they looked around for a suitable ship rat-free island as a possible extra home. Work to recover the bird’s numbers along these lines started in 1987, and has continued in the Takitumu Conservation Area in south-eastern Rarotonga to this day. The neighbouring island of Atiu became the home of an ‘insurance’ population from 2001-03 onwards. During these three decades, great success! The birds increased from a Critically Endangered minimum of 29 in 1989 to more than 500 at present, thus earning an IUCN rating of Vulnerable, and on two islands rather than just one. Therein lies this story: in spite of progressive increases, four out of every five birds alive today live in Rarotonga. For any small bird, Rarotonga is a dangerous place, because Bird Enemy No. 1, the ship rat, still infests the island irremovably. That is why, until the Atiu population builds up to a viable level – about 250 adults; 2016 level 115 – we in the TCA have to continue poisoning rats on Rarotonga. That is why AZCF stepping up to help with this work is greatly appreciated; may AZCF continue thus, however long it takes! Grant Total $ to Partner amount AZFP project? date since 2015/16 $10,480

$20,240

October 2014

Yes

41


22. Programme: Africa

Partner organisation: Lowveld Rhino Trust

Project Title: Support for rhino orphan hand raising in Zimbabwe, 2014/15 Project Overview: The Lowveld Rhino Trust is a stakeholder-based Zimbabwean-registered trust which is supported by a consortium of donors in its rhino conservation activities in the Lowveld region of Zimbabwe. These activities commenced in 1990 as the WWF/Beit Trust Rhino Conservancy Project to facilitate an enabling environment (in terms of habitat, land-use, security, stakeholder attitudes, etc.) for the growth of rhino populations in the Lowveld. This project catalysed the formation of large Lowveld conservancies through technical and funding support in the early 1990s, and varied forms of technical and logistical support have been provided by the project since then with this support being especially significant for rhino conservation during the last decade of political and economic strife in Zimbabwe. After 2008, the project was converted into the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT). LRT does intensive monitoring of rhinos in Lowveld conservancies, as well as hands-on management (veterinary interventions, translocations, rescuing poaching orphans, etc.), within two main areas containing over 300 black rhinos and 100 white rhinos, and is also involved in anti-poaching, intelligence gathering and other law-enforcement activities in these areas. July 2016 update: The Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT) runs the largest rhino monitoring programme in Africa based upon individual recognition of black rhinos (each of which has detailed identity records) within two large areas of southern Zimbabwe, with a combined rhino range of about 500,000 hectares. This monitoring generated 942 black rhino identity confirmations during the year ending mid-2016. In the course of this monitoring, three black rhino calves were found by the monitoring teams having been orphaned through the poaching of their mothers. These had 42


to be captured by LRT and moved to a lion-proof section of a conservancy. They were joined there in May 2016 by two other black rhino calves that had been hand-reared in a nearby facility, following the poaching of one rhino cow and the bullet-wounding of another cow who was blinded by the injury and had to be penned for treatment, while her calf was removed for hand-rearing within a few days of being born. This calf required prolonged (and expensive) medical treatment to successfully cure stomach ulcers

Focal species

Ceratotherium simum Diceros bicornis

Threat status

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$16,700

March 2013

No

Near Threatened Critically Endangered

$7,500

43


23. Partner organisation: Zoo and Aquaria Association (ZAA)

Programme: N/A Project Title: Save the Tasmanian Devil Program Project Overview:

Since the discovery of the contagious cancer devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), wild populations of Tasmanian devils have been decimated in Tasmania. In 2005 the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) began working in partnership with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP), an initiative of the Tasmanian government, in maintaining captive populations of Tasmanian devils (an insurance population). The aim of the insurance population was to establish and maintain a population of healthy, genetically diverse Tasmanian devils that maintain their wild traits and are able to be successfully released into the wild when required. As of May 2013, over 500 disease free Tasmanian devils representing over 98% of the genetic diversity within the species, were being held as an insurance population in 21 zoos and wildlife parks throughout Australia. The Program also contributes a significant number of devils to the insurance population in Tasmania through its two captive breeding facilities, three Devil Islands and the translocated population on Maria Island.

Photo credit: ZAA

Focal species Tasmanian devil Sarcophilus harrisii

Threat status Endangered

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$5,000

$5,000

2015

No

44


24. Programme: Pacific Islands

Partner organisation: Société d’Ornithologie de Polynésie – ‘Association Manu’ / SOP Manu

Project Title: Saving the Fatu hiva monarch from the brink of extinction Project Overview: This project aims to save the Fatu Hiva Monarch (FHM) from extinction through predator control. Endemic to Fatu Hiva island in Marquesas Archipelago and previously common all around the island, its population has been in decline since the arrival of ship rats on the island in 80s. Only 41 birds were found in 2009 during intensive surveys. At the end of 2014, only 25 fixed birds were known and managed on the island. 34 young were produced between 2008 and 2014, and 5 fertile pairs were present in 2014 against 3 in 2012, while the number of sterile pairs decreased from 5 to 1. This project will allow us to continue in 2014 the rat and cat control and bird monitoring in the main valley which currently hosts 90 % of the population (Ta’i’u valley). Station baiting and cat trapping as well as bird monitoring are conducted by local workers issued from the local community. Rat control showing perfect results on nest predation but cat control is more difficult : several predation of fledgling, young at nest and even adults in May-Aug 2015, even we eliminated 40 cats from the area in 2014. July 2016 update: Auckland Zoo helps one of the most endangered birds of the planet. The Fatu Hiva Monarch is endemic from a remote island which is part of the Marquesas Archipelago, 1500 km from Tahiti. There are now just 25 adults left in the world and as few as 3 fertile pairs. Its survival totally depends on controlling predator threats (rats and cats) to the birds in the valley where it lives, dependent on BirdLife International French Polynesia partner “SOP” and the local community, with the support of government and foundations including Auckland Zoo. The programme is lead locally by three islanders and the field work is challenging because of the steep terrain of the valleys and high density of cat population. In 2015/2016, new successful cat control methods helped to stop high predation rates, but need 2 full time workers. Improvements with monitoring by a network of automatic cameras helped to monitor the cat density in the core area. 45


Some volunteers from New Zealand came recently to support the programme in the field. It is hoped that feral cats can be controlled to sufficiently low levels in maintaining a population within this sanctuary while an island is also cleared of introduced predators in providing a permanent solution to the recovery of this critically endangered bird.

Focal species Fatu hiva Monarch Pomarea whitneyi

Threat status

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

Critically Endangered

$10,000

$20,000

2014

No

46


25. Programme: South America

Partner organisation: Spider Monkey Conservation Project

Project Title: Conservation of the critically endangered spider monkey (Ateles hybridus) in Caparo Forest Reserve, Venezuela Project Overview: Brown spider monkey is of particular interest for conservation, it is extremely endangered due to habitat destruction, and it is distributed in both Colombia and Venezuela. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s included in the list of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world. The IUCN lists it as Critically Endangered In the Venezuelan Red Book, A. hybridus has been declared Endangered. Their area of distribution more critical in Venezuela is in the Caparo Forest Reserve, located in the western plains of Venezuela close to the Colombian border. The Caparo reserve was established in 1961 and had an area of 184,100 ha. However, in less than 30 years, around 90% of the reserve has become under pressure by small peasants, large farmers and timber companies. As a consequence, the rate of deforestation has increased very rapidly. Currently it survives less than 7,000 ha of continuous forest plus several small isolated forest fragments up to 150 ha. This situation in Caparo together with the little scientific knowledge we have about A. hybridus in Venezuela make necessary the creation of a long-term conservation project for the species. July 2016 update: The Spider Monkey Project aims at the long-term conservation of the population of brown spider monkey Ateles hybridus and their habitat in the Caparo Forest Reserve. This species of spider monkey primate is of special interest for conservation as it is in critical danger and was declared one of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world. Caparo represents the last forest of West Plains of Venezuela, and is being strongly threatened primarily by deforestation, which has created forest fragments around the main forest where we have observed groups of spider monkeys. The Spider Monkey Project does research, conservation and environmental education. This year 2016 we 47


managed to maintain our activities with the financial support of Auckland Zoo, with $ 8000NZ we are carrying out several projects such as the effects of deforestation in the population of spider monkeys, their distribution, improve the conditions of a female in captivity for rehabilitation, we acquired means of transport that facilitates us to move around the forest reserve and detect threats, among other projects.

Focal species Brown spider monkey Ateles hybridus

Threat status

Critically Endangered

Grant amount 2014/15

Total $ to date

Partner since

AZFP project?

$8,000

$8,000

2015

No

48


Category 3 (Small grant programme) A contestable grants scheme, designed to help provide relatively small levels of funding for on-going conservation projects or pilot programmes. This category of funding is open to individuals or small groups and organisations in New Zealand or in countries outside the first world. Applications are made using a standard form submitted to Auckland Zoo before the specified deadline of each funding round. There are generally two rounds of Category 3 grant funding each year. Category 3 funding will be provided up to a maximum of $5000, though normally awards will be in the region of $1000-2000. The award should represent a minimum of 25% of the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall budget. This means that the maximum budget of a project applying for a Category 3 grant can be $20,000 In 2015/16 Two rounds of grants were considered with each round attracting approximately 80 applications. A total of 11 projects were successful with $3,500 the average amount awarded. Generally speaking while the number of applications is increasing every year the number of quality applications is constant with the increase being in lower quality applications with a majority requesting funds to conduct community workshops. We remain committed to funding only high quality applications supporting endangered species that deliver measurable conservation outcomes. While we remain open to the workshop approach we have provided some additional guidelines to applicants on our website for these to be considered.

Photo credit: Mikajy Natiora Association 49


26. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Zoo Atlanta

Project title: Conservation of the critically endangered alligator lizard Abronia campbelli in eastern Guatemala through Habitat Restoration and Community Forest Management. Project overview: The valley of Potrero Carrillo in Jalapa, Guatemala encompasses the remaining habitat of the endemic and critically endangered Campbellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alligator lizard. These forest remnants are distributed among seven private farms surrounded by 12 villages. Because there are private land owners, businesses and local communities that have a significant impact on Abronia campbelli and its habitat, it is imperative to take conservation measures engaging the total local civil society. As part of a larger program that incorporates conservation and awareness education, land preservation and restoration, natural history studies and social programs this proposal will focus on three key conservation objectives: - Creation of the first ever community managed forest in the area (10,000 trees). - Expansion of the current habitat restoration program to all 7 farms in the valley (8,000 trees). - Awareness and conservation education (2600 children/year) of the 12 communities surrounding the habitat of Abronia campbelli through educational programs. July 2016 update: This project was a great success and has encouraged our group in immeasurable ways to continue on with phase II of the project and effect real change in the region. The funding from the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund: Small Grants Programme was critical to the success achieved and the long lasting results for conservation in the area that will be realized. The success we had implementing comprehensive strategies is due to the combination of direct conservation actions with conservation education for people of all ages and active involvement of local people and 50


Focal species Alligator lizard Abronia campbelli

Threat status Critically Endangered

communities. Because of this, this project ceases to be a temporary conservation project from an outside organization, to instead become a shared ideal and an integral part of the community, with the power of effecting cultural change through which the community has adopted conservation values and actions. The Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund: Small Grants Programme specifically funded for two of the most important aspects of the project that directly lead to the above mentioned success we achieved with this project- The Educational Program and the seedling production (collection, germination, maintenance and distribution). Without these components no long-term success is possible. The impact and potential of this project has exceeded our expectations. Making conservation actions more than just a few â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bullet-point â&#x20AC;&#x153;events carried out by a few scientists or environmentalists, and turning them into a part of the daily lives and consciousness of an entire community. The scope of these results is the only thing that has the capacity of ensuring a future for A. campbelli. So in conclusion the funding received from the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund: Small Grants Programme directly allowed us to achieve the following: Through local acceptance and cooperation with communities surrounding Abronia campbelliâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s habitat we launched the first community managed, rapid growth forest program with 15,000 native fast growing trees. Establishment of alliances with private farm owners that harbour habitat of Abronia campbelli, allowed for the habitat restoration program to plant 11,000 oak trees for the creation of biological corridors. Awareness of the local communities about the conservation status of Abronia campbelli and its associated biodiversity was achieved through the implementation and expansion of our educational program for schools reaching 2500 children Grant amount Location 2015/16 $3,875

Guatemala 51


27. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Mikajy Natiora Association

Project title: Incentivizing local communities for the conservation of the critically endangered blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) Project overview: The main habitat of the blue-eyed black lemur is the Sahamalaza-Iles Radama National Park (SIRNP). This species is primarily threatened by the habitat destruction such as slash and burn agriculture, logging and uncontrolled fires. Due to these anthropogenic threats, the species was red-listed as Critically Endangered. The local communities surrounding the SIRNP have lived there for many years and without doubt they depend on the forest resources. In addition, these people are extremely poor, with low levels of schooling and so the forest is always under permanent threats. By implementing education and outreach activities, developing alternative livelihoods, the local communities will learn taking responsibility for the management of the forest and protection of endemic endangered species. This proposed project is not only essential to ensure the survival of the target species but also effective to incentivize the local communities for the sustainable use and management of their natural resources, which they heavily rely on for their livelihoods July 2016 update: The Sahamalaza-Iles Radama National Park is the main habitat of the blue-eyed black lemur. This critically endangered lemur species is threatened mainly by the anthropogenic activities such as slash and burn agriculture and uncontrolled fires. We developed alternative livelihoods project and carried out education and outreach activities in order to help local communities leaving the forest dependence and to protect sustainably the lemur species and its forest habitat. 52


Therefore, we implemented subsistence crop such as yam. Sixty (60) households from 14 villages surrounding the park have benefited the project. They were trained during 3 days and received yam seeds each. Also, we have distributed 300 seedlings of orange fruit to them. Within 14 villages, more than 2000 persons including children, young and adults were sensitized about the importance of the conservation of the blue-eyed black lemur and its forest habitat. Outreach activities included PowerPoint presentation, documentary projection, environmental quiz, cleaning, carnivals, and conference debate. We distributed 100 comic books, 400 T-shirts, 100 bags and 100 sarongs to the regional and local authorities, teachers, association's leaders, students and villagers. This project improved the living conditions of the local communities and increased the local communitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; awareness about the need of the protection of the blueeyed black lemur.

Focal species

Threat status

Blue-eyed black lemur Critically (Eulemur flavifrons) Endangered

Grant amount 2015/16

Location

$5,000

Madagascar

53


28. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Mara Conservancy

Project title: Mara Dog Vaccination Project Project overview: Common diseases of domestic animals pose serious conservation and health implications in East Africa. In 1994, a canine distemper virus (CDV) outbreak in feral dogs decimated almost one-third of the lion population in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, before it was contained by an intensive vaccination campaign of domestic dogs. The Masai Mara National Reserve’s (MMNR’s) African wild dog populations vanished after outbreaks of rabies and CDV in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Mara Conservancy, a Kenyan non-profit, has an on-going project to keep the communities and animals living adjacent to the Reserve healthy. The Mara Dog Vaccination Project aims to control and eradicate rabies and canine distemper virus (CDV) in this area, thus reducing clinical disease in the domestic animal population, preventing the disease transmission; preserving CDV- and rabies-free habitat; and improving the health of local community through education and the reduction of zoonotic cases. Since the project began in 2007, the Mara Dog Vaccination Project has vaccinated over 12,429 domestic dogs and 594 cats, reducing incidence of CDV and rabies in domestic animals and continuing to safeguard the health of domestic

54


Photos: Children in the villages helped our team with the vaccination work. In most rabid dog cases, young children under 10 are victims.

Focal species Carnivores

Threat status N/A

animals, wild carnivores and human communities in and surrounding the MMNR. July 2016 update: In June 2015, we (Mara Conservancy) received $3,500 from Auckland Zoo towards our “Mara Dog Vaccination Project”. Our dog vaccination work began in 2007 when we were noted a canine distemper virus outbreak causing over 1,000 dog deaths just adjacent to the wildlife protected area. In the Masai Mara region, two canine diseases possess major impact on both wildlife and human health. Canine Distemper Virus causes major threat to wildlife especially to our wild carnivore population and rabies causes devastating zoonotic transmission to human population in the community living around the wildlife reserve. The aim of the project is to control and eradication of the two canine diseases and preservation of CDV free habitat to ensure the survival of the endangered wild carnivore such as wild dogs. Auckland zoo’s funding enabled us to continue our annual domestic dog vaccination work between 2015 and 2016. During this time period, we noted three incidents involving rabid dog attacks on human in the area which we normally do not cover. The fund was especially useful in sending emergency team to these affected area Grant amount Location 2015/16 $3,468

Kenya

55


29. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Trust (EWT)

Endangered

Wildlife

Project title: No croaking! Saving South Africa’s endangered Mistbelt Chirping Frog Project overview: This secretive amphibian is globally Red Listed as Endangered, and features in the Top 100 ZSL EDGE (Zoological Society of London: Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) amphibian species list. It occurs only in the mistbelt grasslands of south-central KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Currently, the species and its habitat do not receive any conservation intervention, yet the threat of habitat transformation continues. There are an estimated 3000 individuals (Harvey 2007). The species is restricted to just five sites comprising an area of only 9 km2. Most of these sites occur on forestry or privately-owned land, and are afforded little to no protection. The outlook is not good for the species – surveys conducted ten years after its discovery in 1993 suggest two historical subpopulations may already be extinct and recent reports indicate that remaining suitable habitat is not being appropriately managed. This project will work with the relevant landowners to implement revised management strategies to enhance conditions for the Mistbelt Chirping Frog, and initiate processes to formally protect priority sites for the species. Furthermore, studies will be conducted in order to investigate the species’ spatial utilisation of habitat and guide protection strategies for viable populations. July2016 update: The Mistbelt Chirping Frog is a miniscule amphibian known only from a handful of grassland sites in the southern corner of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. The species is listed as Endangered by the IUCN and also features in the Top 100 ZSL EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct Globally Endangered) amphibian list. Like many rare and cryptic frog species, it is generally easier to hear than to see the Mistbelt Chirping Frog, the call of which is more like a quiet insect chirp than anything one would expect from a frog. Which is one of the reasons that with the help of Auckland Zoo, we have been able to make use of specialised acoustic equipment, aka Song Meters, to better understand this hard-to-see animal. In December, a group of researchers, including MSc student Mea Trenor and a team of acoustic experts from North-West University, as well as members of the EWT Threatened Amphibian Programme, 56


Focal species Mistbelt Chirping Frog Anhydrophryne ngongoniensis

Threat status Endangered

ventured into the Mistbelt region to test out a method known as spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR). None of us had actually seen the species before. All we had to go on were some GPS coordinates from audio detections 8 years ago. The weather was true to its name and after being caught out in a massive electrical storm, we heard the â&#x20AC;&#x153;chirpâ&#x20AC;? at one of the known sites, were we quickly set up the SECR array. Over the course of the trip, the array was deployed at 4 sites in addition to the collection of 12 hours of call data for revealing peak calling times. We not only heard the frogs at various sites, but were extremely fortunate to find an individual male (under a fallen pine tree of all places). It was very difficult to locate, even with multiple observers triangulating for well over twenty minutes. This is exceptionally good going considering that the previous researcher of this species encountered just one frog visually over the course of five years. Grant amount Location 2015/16 $3,350

South Africa

57


30. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana (UNEG)

Project title: Ecology and conservation of Amaurospiza carrizalensis (Lentino & Restall, 2003) in the Lower Caroní River, Venezuela. Project overview: This is a recently described endemic bird species of Venezuela considering Critically Endangered (CR) for the IUCN. However, the IUCN highlights information gaps for this species, which could update their status otherwise. Further, the Red Book of Venezuelan Fauna (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez, 2008) places it in the Data Deficient (DD) category. For the moment, it is assumed to have an extremely small population and to be declining as other potentially suitable habitat continues to be destroyed. However, the low number of records may be partly due to the difficulty in surveying its habitat, which as a result has rarely been explored. Some 2,482Km2 of suitable spiny bamboo habitat has been mapped Some of this area is under administrative management of Corpoelec, because are in the border of lakes Caruachi and Tocoma, this last to be flooded between 2015 & 16 once completed the Manuel Piar Hydroelectric Complex. The data obtained will be used to propose the protection of critical areas of habitat adjacent to the reservoir and the involvement of nearby communities through environment education and workshops. July 2016 update: This project, aims to evaluate the population status, distribution, habitat use and to promote its conservation though environmental education. Until date, the data obtained for this project and all historical data (since 2001) confirm the distribution of in 1200 Km2 in lower Caroni river basin, including some island in the Tocoma Lake. An estimate of 10% of this surface was flooded since November 2015 through March 2016, with construction of Tocoma Dam. Our observations indicates that males Showed territorial behaviour, more evident in dry season, suggesting that reproduction is concentrated in drier month of the year. Results from this project will serve to propose the protection of critical areas of habitat adjacent to the reservoir and the involvement of nearby communities through environment education. 58


Focal species Carrizal seedeater Amaurospiza carrizalensis

Threat status

Grant amount 2015/16

Location

Critically Endangered

$3,100

Venezuela

59


31. Organisation: The Elizabeth Economic and Social Welfare Initiative (EESWI)

Programme: Small Grants Project title: Elephant and Forest Conservation Project - Tanzania Project overview:

Focal species African elephant Loxodonta africana

Threat status Vulnerable

Matongo is among the villages that lie adjacent to the Serengeti national park in Bariadi district. Every night, farm crops are being destroyed by elephants in the villages. The people react by killing the animals at alarming rates. This pilot project focuses on reduction of 3 threats: elephant crop raiding, deforestation and poaching: Objectives 1. To conduct training on wildlife and habitat conservation to 1500 people living in Matongo village starting from 1/1/2016 to 31/3/2016 2. To establish 2 acre chilli pepper farm in the village for deterrence of elephants as they have aversion to chillis. This objective will be implemented from 1/4/2016 up to end of project on 31/12/2016. 3 ways of expelling elephants: • Growing crops mixed with chilli pepper crop in the same farm. Chilli peppers are not palatable to elephants hence such farms are not raided • Burning dried blocks of elephant dung mixed with chilli peppers provides noxious smoke that drives away the mammals • Farms are fenced with ropes which have been smeared with a concentrate of grease mixed with chilli peppers July 2016 update: We have completed objective number one of providing conservation education. Also the chilli pepper farm has already been established and the crop is growing well. Grant amount location 2015/16 $3,764

Tanzania

60


32. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Global Link Organisation

Project title: Community participation in conservation of Encephalartos equatorialis in Mukonu district, Uganda Project overview: The projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is the long term conservation of critically endangered Encephalartos equatorialis, it will run for 12 months. The species belongs to cycads is endemic to Mukono District near the shore of Lake Victoria in Uganda. It is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List due human encroachment to its habitat, commercial collection and speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; inability to reproduce. The project will use integrated approach on conservation of currently remaining plants estimated to be 300 by improving habitat conditions and enhancing its population using tissue culture propagation. This will be achieved through working and developing capacity of local community to effectively manage its habitat and creation of alternative income and replanting as a contribution to the species survival. The methodology will include community awareness programmes, establishment of community run nursery bed, propagation of 500 seedlings using tissue culturing for planting in wild and domestication, community education planting and field management of the species, use conservation posters and establish a community controlled marketing system. Currently there is no any conservation action going on for Encephalartos equatorialis hotspot in Mukono, the community is not aware of the species status yet there is little data available at all levels in Uganda. July 2016 update: Global Link Organisation received funding from Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund to implement Community Participation in Conservation of Encephalartos equatorialis project in Mukono District, Uganda. The projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aim is the long term conservation of critically endangered Encephalartos equatorialis within 12 months using sustainable livelihoods, in situ conservation, ex situ collections, and community involvement. The project was started with community awareness programmes to increase community knowledge and understanding on the 61


Focal species Cycad Encephalartos equatorialis

importance of species conservation were 138 people participated. We have established collaborations with community nursery operators to train our beneficiaries on how to operate and manage a community nursery bed profitably. We are still conducting a comprehensive population census and habitat survey through a geographical survey of the species in Mukono District. This project will result in community knowledge generation and transfer, institutional capacity building and community awareness action reduce threats to Ugandaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s endangered Encephalartos equatorialis and other and endemic cycads Grant Threat status amount Location 2015/16 Critically Endangered

$5,000

Uganda

62


33. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Eastern Bay Preservation Society Inc.

of

Islands

Project title: Eastern Bay of Islands Citizen Scientist Project (EBoIPS). Project overview:

Photo : Joel Cayford

Focal species Pest control

The project aims to engage with and recruit the local resident families and summer visitor families to collect data on behalf of the EBoIPS will distribute activity packs which will educate & entertain families during one week of the summer holidays while supplying our group with valuable baseline information on distribution of Argentine Ants and plague skinks on the mainland of the Eastern Bay of Islands. The data gathered will be GIS mapped and will form the basis for a future management and control plan. As well as trapping ants and hunting for skinks, our volunteer families will be gathering data on the population density of mustelids and rats around homes with tracking tunnels. The importance of preventing the incursion of the Argentine Ant and the Plague Skink onto the islands of the Bay of Islands is of paramount importance as these species would cause destruction and loss of newly established and future releases of fauna on the islands. July 2016 update: We feel that the project achieved everything we had hoped for. Engaged, informed, educated the local property owners and their families about the threat of Argentine ants and Plague skinks to the flora and fauna of NZ and in particular the need to keep these and other invasive species off the islands of the Bay of Islands. We now have baseline data which we can build on into the future. This data gathered will be made available to DoC, The Guardians of the Bay of Islands, Northland Regional Council and any other interested party. We hope, with the further support of Auckland Zoo, to be able to undertake a similar project in 2018. This would allow us to observe what changes, if any, have taken place to Argentine ant and plague skink populations over a 2 year period. This will demonstrate trends which will enable sound management plans to be implemented. Grant amount Threat status 2015/16 New Zealand N/A $2,728 63


34. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Bridgette Farnworth, University of Waikato

Project title: Can fear deter: Does light at night reduce the reinvasion potential of feral nocturnal rodents at conservation sanctuaries in New Zealand? Project overview: Nocturnal rodent foraging behaviour is influenced by light levels, as exposure under illumination increases their risk of being seen by predators. The possibility of predation makes prey fearful and avoid circumstances with higher risk. New Zealand holds no native rodent species but has feral mice and rats that severely impair native biodiversity. My PhD thesis builds on my existing research demonstrating that feral mice can be deterred through inducing risk avoidance behaviour using light. The overarching aim of my current research is to conclusively assess if artificial light could provide conservation managers opportunities to limit the activity of rodent pests. The tendency of rodents to avoid illumination could be a ground-breaking conservation tool to provide protection at bird breeding grounds; damaged exclusion fences of mainland sanctuaries awaiting repair; terminus zones of pest-proof fences at peninsula sanctuaries and shipping docks that service offshore islands. Specifically, I am seeking funding for an initial component of my research, which involves deterring rodents from utilising the hood of pest-fencing using light. Purchasing lights is essential for the success of this project and the collection of data that will help determine the trajectory of future components of this valuable PhD. July 2016 update: Reinvasion by mammals at eco-sanctuaries remains a constant danger as treefalls and storms can damage fencing. Our existing research demonstrates that wild mice can be deterred from feeding by using light and illumination may be an untapped conservation tool for reducing rodent activity near pest-proof fences. The behaviour of rodents at night is influenced by ambient light levels because illumination increases the risk of predators seeing them. This year, Auckland Zoo contributed towards the logistical costs associated with our research and to purchase lighting equipment essential for illuminating sections of eco-sanctuary fencing. We 64


undertook trials on two fences at Maungatautari to see if light would deter a) mice when they were the only mammal present; b) mice when in the presence of ship rats; and c) ship rats from using the fence. We are currently evaluating rodent responses to illumination to determine the efficacy of light as a deterrent.

Focal species Pest control

Threat status N/A

Grant amount 2015/16

Location

$1,082

New Zealand

65


35. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Eli University

Christian,

Massey

Project title: Demography and Conservation of the Galapagos Racer (Pseudalsohpis biseralis) in Floreana Island and its islets Project overview: The Galapagos racer is an endemic species to the Galapagos Archipelago in Ecuador. Historically the species inhabited Floreana Island, but became extinct following the introduction of rodents and cats by humans in the late 1800â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Currently the Floreana population is restricted to two offshore islets, which could serve as sources of individuals for translocation purposes. However, the Galapagos racer population has not been estimated on these islets, there is no information about the current age and size classes and sex ratios. Further, despite its small distribution range, the Galapagos racer lacks a formal IUCN red list assessment. My project seeks to quantify the population size and characterize the age and size classes as well as the proportion of males and females on Champion and Gardnerby-Floreana islets as a first step to formally assess the status of the species as per IUCN criteria, and to develop a future conservation strategy for this overlooked element of the Galapagos biodiversity. July 2016 update: In November 2015, we began a project to document the demography of the Floreana racer (Pseudalsophis biserialis biserialis) to assist the development of conservation measures for the species in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. One of the first organisations to provide this support was the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund. The Floreana racer can only be found on two small islets, and remains a mystery amongst the other thoroughly studied species that inhabit even the same islands. The support of the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund has enabled us to describe for the first time the morphology of the species in the field and aspects of its diet. We captured, measured and tagged 63 racers. These individuals were used to develop the first ever population estimates for this species, as well as provide insights into the sex ratios, sizes and weight classes of the species, as well as differences between study sites. We were also able to 66


provide training to two park rangers in the handling and management of the species. The funds provided by the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund allowed for the procurement of a large number of micro-transponder tags that were used to distinguish individuals in the mark recapture study.

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2015/16

Galapagos Racer Pseudalsohpis biseralis

Not assessed

$3,000

Location

Ecuador

67


36. Programme: Small Grants

Organisation: Aaranyak

Project title: Combining research and education for conservation of the endangered hog deer in Assam, India. Project overview: Hog deer is one of the least focussed-on large mammals of south Asia and it is classified as endangered (IUCN, 2012). Excessive hunting and habitat loss has resulted in drastic decline from most of its range countries. In India, the population declined by 30-40 % in last two decades (Timmins 2012). Manas National Park (Manas henceforth), in northeast India used to be a stronghold of hog deer during the late 1980s. But the period of civil unrest in Manas from 1990-2003 has resulted in drastic decline of the species. There is an urgent need to review the current status of hog deer (IUCN 2012) and hence, the proposed study is conceptualised to assess the current conservation status of hog deer using occupancy and distance sampling. The grassland of Manas is gradually being invaded by various invasive plant species (IPS) and the impact of these is largely under-studied. Hence the influence IPS on hog deer and its grassland habitat will be studied to impart necessary conservation measures. Conservation education programmes will be conducted to raise awareness about hog deer conservation needs and discourage hunting in the strategic locations (educational institutions, local NGOs) in the fringe areas of Manas. July 2016 update: Hog deer Axis porcinus is grassland obligate and forms an important prey base for large carnivores. Despite its importance, it is one of the least focused-on large mammals of the region. Once abundant in Manas National Park in Assam, the population of hog deer declined drastically owing to political unrest which resulted in collapse of law and order for almost two decades. With improving socio-political condition of the region, it has become imperative to conserve this species. In this conservation initiative of hog deer, the support from Auckland Zoo is very instrumental. This timely grant has helped in understanding the present population status, its habitat and the factors affecting it. 68


Education outreach among the school students of fringe areas has helped in raising awareness about the species and its conservation needs. Awareness campaigns were organized in six schools targeting 300 students. A day long programme was organised on the occasion of World Environment day where 40 students were taken on an orientation tour inside Manas. An essay competition followed by knowledge sharing sessions was organized. Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund has made a substantial contribution towards the conservation of this species. Focal species Hog deer Axis porcinus

Threat status Endangered

Grant amount 2015/16

Location

$4,130

India

69


Auckland Zoo staff in the field 2015–2016 1. Introduction During the 2015/16 financial year, 117 Auckland Zoo staff, interns and field conservation volunteers spent a total of 13,238 hours working on 45 conservation projects (including all fieldwork, plus management of the Rotoroa Island project – Auckland Zoo’s most intensive fieldwork project). These hours equate to 6 Auckland Zoo personnel working full-time on fieldwork projects for the year – with an equivalent financial value of $523,141. Of these, 9,925 hours were actual ‘fieldwork’ hours, where work was carried out directly at the field site. This is the equivalent of having 5 people working full-time in the field every day for the entire year. Summary details of all 45 field projects Auckland Zoo was involved with during 2015/2016 (including project name, location, number of people involved and hours spent on the project) are provided in Appendix I

2. Auckland Zoo involvement A breakdown of the number of people involved and hours contributed to direct fieldwork by Auckland Zoo staff, interns and field conservation volunteers is provided in Table 1 below.  A total of 91 members of Auckland Zoo staff, from 18 teams across the Zoo worked outside the zoo on field conservation projects during 2015/2016.  60 members of Auckland Zoo staff, from 16 different teams, plus 23 Field Conservation Volunteers and interns carried out direct fieldwork on Rotoroa Island. Table 1. Fieldwork hours 2015/16. Auckland Zoo personnel

Number of people

Hours spent on fieldwork

AZ Staff

91

9,513

AZ Interns

5

48

AZ Field Conservation Volunteers

21

364

117

9,925

Total

Table 2 summarises how time spent on the Rotoroa Island project was apportioned. Of the total 7,326 hours spent on the project over the year, 4,013 hours involved direct fieldwork on the island. This equates to 40% of all direct fieldwork carried out by Auckland Zoo during 2015/2016. The additional 3,313 hours were spent working on other components of delivering the Rotoroa Island project, such as pre-trip school visits, public talks on the island and quarantine and husbandry of translocation animals.

70


Table 2. Time spent on delivering the Rotoroa Island project for 2015/16. Project component

Hours 2015/16

Equivalent $ value

Fieldwork – wildlife programme

3,209

$103,571

Fieldwork – schools programme

672

$30,396

Visitor Engagement – talks on island

132

$6,396

VE programme co-ordination and management

40

$4,626

Pre-school visit teaching trip

16

$864

Wildlife programme co-ordination and management

2,436

$109,957

Schools programme co-ordination and management

736

$44,796

Translocation related animal quarantine and husbandry

85

$2,837

7,326

$303,443

Total

3. Geographical distribution, project location and fieldwork time at key locations The number of domestic and international field locations worked at, the number of projects and the amount of fieldwork hours spent at each location during 2015/2016 is summarised in Table 3 below. Table 3. Summary of the number of projects and amount of time spent at key fieldwork locations in 2015/2016. Project location

Number of projects

Time in hours

DOMESTIC North Island, NZ Hauraki Gulf Rotoroa Island Rangitoto and Motutapu Motuora Island Tiritiri Matangi Island The Noises Islands Little Barrier Island Burgess Island Hauraki Gulf sub-total

1 4 1 3 3 3 1 16

4,013 568 64 816 107 660 33 6,261

Rest of North Island, NZ Hikurangi Swamp Pakiri Beach Tawharanui Regional Park Western Springs

1 1 1 2

20 22 64 68

71


Hunua Ranges Henderson Parakai Waitakere Ranges Coromandel peninsula Wairakeii Purerora Forest Whareorino Forest Turangi Rest of North Island, NZ sub-total North Island, NZ total South Island, NZ Hokitika Burwood Maude Island Invercargill Anchor Island Codfish Island South Island, NZ total DOMESTIC TOTAL INTERNATIONAL Tahiti Rarotonga Samoa INTERNATIONAL SUB-TOTAL OVERALL TOTALS

1 1 1 4 2 1 2 2 1 20 36

352 16 248 708 78 40 112 152 32 1,912 8,173

1 1 1 1 1 1 6 42

166 32 56 216 725 396 1,591 9,764

1 1 1 3 45

40 64 57 161 9,925

4. Geographical distribution and project location  During 2015/2016 Auckland Zoo staff worked on a total of 45 field projects; an increase of thirteen projects since 2014/2015.  All fieldwork was carried out across a total of 29 locations (26 domestic and 3 international).  Of the 45 field conservation projects Auckland Zoo was directly involved with during 2015/16, 42 were located within New Zealand (Domestic projects) and 3 were overseas (International Projects).  The majority (36 out of 42) of Domestic projects were situated in the North Island, with a particular concentration of projects located in the Hauraki Gulf (12 projects in the Inner Gulf and 4 in the Outer Gulf). These 12 projects took place on seven island locations (Rotoroa, Rangitoto and Motutapu, Motuora, Tiritiri Matangi and The Noises in the inner Gulf and Little Barrier and Burgess Islands in the outer Gulf).  Six field projects were carried out in the South Island, 50% of which were on offshore islands  In 2015 /16 Auckland Zoo staff also travelled internationally to carry-out fieldwork in three Pacific Island locations. 3.2.

Direct fieldwork time distribution across geographical locations

 The majority of Auckland Zoo’s fieldwork was carried out within the Hauraki Gulf, with 63% of fieldtime spent working on projects located here.  For a third year running, over one third (40%) of fieldwork time was spent on Rotoroa Island (up from 36% last year).  Of the other Hauraki Gulf Islands, this Auckland Zoo staff spent the most time working on Tiritiri Matangi Island. 72


 The Waitakere Ranges continues to be the second most significant location for Auckland Zoo in terms of amount of fieldwork time dedicated to projects there.  The amount of time Auckland Zoo spent on working in the field in the South Island was at an alltime high, representing 16% of all fieldwork carried out here in 2015/2016, compared to 2.4% in 2014/2015 and 9% in 2013/2014.  This year, the proportion of total fieldwork carried out overseas reduced to approximately half that of the previous two years, with 1.6% of field-time spent working on international projects during 2015/2016, compared to 3% in 2014/2015 and 2013/2014. 4.

Project focus and time distribution

 Table 4 below shows how project focus and proportion of time was distributed during 2015/16.  Rotoroa Island remains Auckland Zoo’s largest field conservation project in terms of staff fieldwork time. This integrated conservation projects involves several components including wildlife translocations, wildlife management, surveys and monitoring. This project has elements of several species-specific focused work, as well as habitat restoration and creation. It is also the only field project that contains an Auckland Zoo-led education component.  44% of fieldwork projects worked on in 2015/2016 were bird-focused projects, with 38% of all field time spent working on these projects.  36% of fieldwork projects worked on in 2015/2016 were ectotherm projects, with 13% of field time spent working on these projects.  9% of all projects were focused on reptiles, with 7% of field time spent working on these projects.  27% of all projects were focused on amphibians, fish and invertebrates (combined), with 6% of field time spent working on these projects.  7% of projects were focused on native habitat restoration (including animal and plant pest control), with 4% of field-time spent working on these projects. Table 4. Project focus and proportion of time distribution. Project focus Birds Red crowned kākāriki Orange-fronted parakeet Takahē Kiwi Seabirds (multiple species) Kōkako Kākāpo Rifleman NZ dotterel Manumea (tooth-billed pigeon) Kakerori (Rarotonga flycatcher) Birds sub-total Ectotherms Lizards (multiple species) Chesterfield skink Archey’s frog Black mudfish Short jaw kokopu Red finned bully and koura Giant wētā Flax snail Partula snails

Number of projects

Time in hours

1 1 5 2 1 2 4 1 1 1 1 20

760 56 224 110 33 638 1,804 32 48 57 64 3,826

3 1 3 2 1 1 3 1 1

528 166 240 42 46 8 235 32 40

73


Ectotherms sub-total Restoration Native habitat restoration Animal pest control Integrated conservation Wildlife management, education, training and research Technical skills development Tracking surveys Training Project development and management Project relations and long-term scoping Project advice and consultation TOTAL

16

1,337

1 2

352 44

1

4,013

1 2

24 264

1 1

33 32 9,925

5. Appendix I: Summary of Auckland Zoo’s 45 fieldwork projects 2015-2016 Project name Rotoroa Island Lizard surveying and monitoring on Rangitoto and Motutapu Habitat restoration on Rangitoto and Motutapu Redfin bully and koura surveying on Motutapu Island Takahē management on Motutapu Island Kiwi chick release on Motuora (ONE) Red Crowned kākāriki nesting study on Tiritiri Matangi Island Rifleman surveys on Tiritiri Matangi Island Takahē management on Tiritiri Matangi Island Population survey of flax snails on Motuhoropapa Island, Noises Group Second wētā punga release and monitoring on Motuhorapapa Island, Noises Group

Location NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf

Staff hours 2015/16

No. of staff 2015/16

4013

83

144

4

352

19

8

1

64

3

64

8

760

15

32

2

24

3

32

2

39

4

74


Continuation of wētā punga releases (as per Wētā Recovery Plan) onto Otata Island, Noises Group Seabird monitoring, research and conservation on Burgess Island Kākāpō Recovery Programme - nest minding and transmitter changes on Little Barrier Island Wētā punga Recovery – collection trip to Little Barrier Island Long-term partnerships site visit and relationship development on Little Barrier Island Collection of black mudfish stock for captive breeding and presence/absence surveys Presence absence survey for black mudfish Takahē management and health checks Assistance with New Zealand dotterel nest monitoring and protection at MOTAT Urban Ark - tracking and monitoring Project name Reptile surveys and monitoring Mist net keeper training Waterfowl banding keeper training Short jaw kokopu surveys Kōkako monitoring at Ark in the Park Predator control at Ark in the Park Tracking surveys at Ark in the Park Assessment of Mahakirau estate as an AZ field site and potential partner (Coromandel striped gecko, Archey’s frog) DoC Kiwi translocation Whenuakite to Motutapu Takahē management and health checks Kōkako translocation preparations Archey’s frog monitoring and assessment of release site

NZ, NI Inner Hauraki Gulf

36

3

NZ, NI Outer Hauraki Gulf

33

1

NZ, NI Outer Hauraki Gulf

467

3

NZ, NI Outer Hauraki Gulf

160

4

NZ, NI Outer Hauraki Gulf

33

3

20

1

22

1

64

4

NZ, NI Auckland

48

5

NZ, NI Auckland

20 Staff hours 2015/16

3 No. of staff 2015/16

352

6

16

1

248

16

46

3

614.25

4

24

3

24

2

32

2

46

1

40

4

24

1

88

2

NZ NI Northland, Hikurangi Swamp NZ, NI Pakiri Beach NZ, NI Tawharanui Regional Park

Location NZ, NI Hunua Ranges NZ, NI Henderson NZ, NI Parakai NZ, NI West coast Waitakere Ranges NZ, NI West coast Waitakere Ranges NZ, NI West coast Waitakere Ranges NZ, NI West coast Waitakere Ranges NZ, NI Mahakirau Estate, Coromandel NZ NI Whenuakite, Coromandel NZ, central NI Wairakeii NZ, central NI Pureora Forest NZ, central NI Pureora Forest

75


Archey’s frog population monitoring Archey’s frog translocation Blue duck husbandry and quarantine advice Chesterfield skink surveys Takahē management - annual health check of breeding population Orange-fronted parakeet survey Kākāpō Recovery – chick hand rearing Kākāpō Recovery Programme – transmitter changes and veterinary health support Kākāpō Recovery Programme – transmitter changes and veterinary health support Manumea (tooth billed pigeon) project Kakerori Project, Takatimu Conservation Area Reintroduction of three species of Polynesian tree snail (Genus Partula) into Papehue and Te Faaiti valley

NZ, NI Whareorino Forest NZ, NI Whareorino Forest NZ, central NI Taurangi NZ, SI West Coast, Hokitika NZ, SI Burwood NZ SI, Maude Island NZ SI, Invercargill

120

3

32

2

32

2

166

3

32

1

56

1

216

2

NZ, SI Anchor Island

725

4

NZ, SI Codfish Island

396

3

Apia, Samoa

57

1

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

64

1

Tahiti

40

1

76

Profile for Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo field conservation report 2015 - 2016  

Auckland Zoo field conservation report 2015 - 2016

Auckland Zoo field conservation report 2015 - 2016  

Auckland Zoo field conservation report 2015 - 2016

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