New support package for wildlife institutions

Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. 

 

“Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery of Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous and threatened species,” said Eugenie Sage.

“The impacts of the COVID-19 response have severely reduced wildlife institutions’ revenue from visitor admissions and philanthropic donations. The continued closure of New Zealand’s borders means revenue is likely to remain low for the 2020/21 financial year.

“The one-off funding of $14.89 million for 2020-21 will be administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and will mitigate the risk of closure for vital wildlife protection facilities.

“The protection and welfare of threatened species is at risk if these facilities close. Rehoming wildlife is not a sound option as the costs would be very high and this would require significant investment and intervention from DOC and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“Captive-based conservation efforts such as Operation Nest Egg for rare kiwi such as rowi, and captive breeding for kākāriki/ orange-fronted parakeet, shore plover, Chesterfield and cobble skink recovery programmes are critical for the recovery of threatened species. The only known population of cobble skinks is at Auckland Zoo.

“The response to the aspergillosis disease outbreak in kākāpō in 2019 highlights the value of wildlife institutions. DOC staff were supported by conservation practitioners from wildlife hospitals, zoos and kiwi incubation centres. The ability to access skilled veterinary services prevented a devastating outcome for kākāpō.”

Eugenie Sage says wildlife institutions also develop and harness local community and volunteer support, and play a vital role in the education of young people.

“These unique places enable young people to connect with nature, learn about indigenous species and the need to protect their natural habitats” said Eugenie Sage.

The funding will cover urgent and critical operational costs to maintain animal welfare, protect and retain specialist jobs and prevent the collapse of recovery programmes for New Zealand ‘s most threatened species. 

DOC will require proposals from wildlife institutions for funding from the support package.

Severely impacted wildlife institutions will receive funding within the next few weeks, allowing facilities to continue operating.

The funding for this support package comes from Budget 2020. Further information can be found at www.doc.govt.nz/wirf.

Petition

Let’s ditch fossil fuels once and for all

When all our energy comes from the sun, the wind, and the flow of rivers, we won’t need to burn the fossil fuels that cause the climate crisis. Our...
SIGN ON

Petition

Support our Poverty Action Plan

Our Poverty Action Plan will completely change the way we support people in New Zealand so when people ask for help, they get it. It overhauls the ...
SIGN ON

Action

Local Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Latest Conservation Announcements

Story

Stronger Green voice needed next term to stop more mining on or under conservation land

The Green Party is strongly opposed to MBIE’s decision to grant mining permits under public conservation land in the Coromandel.
Read More

Story

Rakitū Island declared latest predator free island

Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today declared Rakitū Island, off the coast of Aotea/Great Barrier Island, predator free.
Read More

Story

Turning the tide for hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin

Government, iwi, NGOs, and rehabilitation groups are working together to turn around the fortunes of the nationally endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed pe...
Read More

Conservation

Everyone should be able to enjoy the dawn chorus in Aotearoa’s forests and have rivers safe for fishing, swimming, and gathering kai. But previous ...
Read More

Story

Conservation Board appointments boost diversity

The diversity of conservation boards around Aotearoa is increasing with 47 appointments to 14 of the 15 conservation boards across New Zealand anno...
Read More

Story

Jobs for Nature investment to provide 50 jobs in South Westland

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has announced a $2.5 million boost for South Westland to help a regional alliance of local businesses and govern...
Read More