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Wellington succeeds in flipping the bird

Apr 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

“BIRD, bird, bird; bird is the word,” sang American surf band The Trashmen in 1962 and “bird” certainly is the word on Wellington’s lips.

Bird watchers all over the city will be dusting off their cameras at the prospect of spotting more native species as many have made a long-awaited return to the city.

The likes of the tui, bell bird, whitehead, kakariki, tomtit and kaka are flourishing under more native environments and city councillor Helene Ritchie has hailed the efforts of volunteers and residents.

“Working with volunteers and other councils and agencies, we are gaining ground in the battle to reverse the loss of Wellington’s biodiversity,” she says.

There are 67 environment restoration groups working with Wellington City Council on pest and weed control and re-vegetation programmes.

These residents, organisations and groups are playing an important role in restoring the city’s native habitats, she says.

Berhampore nursery grows and supplies almost 10,000 eco-sourced native plants a year, and planting is also being done in coastal areas, streams and forests.

Many habitats are slowly being restored to closer resemble what they once were.

“We have lost 95 percent of our lowland forest, most of our wetlands and dunes, and three quarters of our bird species are threatened.

“Behind these changes are planting and pest management programmes that are creating healthier forest with fewer pests, where birds can prosper.” 

Many of the birds have been on a long hiatus, but with the introduction of native trees and plants plus an increased focus on pest control, have since been lured back.

The assault on pests and weeds has become increasingly targeted, with weed and animal controls being combined in more than 30 key spots around the city.

The council is considering a future combined governance structure for Zealandia, the zoo, Otari–Wilton Bush and the Botanic Garden,  to be called ECO-City.

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