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Published: 2004-09-30 00:00:00

The Maungatautari Ecological Island project has received $20,000 from Environment Waikato’s Environmental Initiatives Fund for baseline biodiversity monitoring.

The project – aimed at establishing a mainland pest-free ecological island on Maungatautari – is conducting baseline assessments of biodiversity on the mountain to evaluate the effectiveness of pest eradication. The goal is to measure biodiversity inside and outside the two fenced enclosures so changes following pest control can be measured. The Trust expects invertebrate populations particularly to respond quickly to pest eradication but needs baseline measurements to record the changes.

“We expect dramatic improvements in many native species on the mountain, but to really quantify success we need to know what’s there now,” said Environment Waikato Strategic Development Manager Kevin Collins.

The project will provide objective information on changes in biodiversity when mammals are excluded from native forest areas, as well as assisting with developing strategies and options for improving Regional biodiversity in other areas.