Project Hubs

Predator control within the Southern Lakes Sanctuary is currently focussed on seven core Hubs. In addition to intensifying work within these hubs and connecting them via corridors, at least one new hub at the Richardson Mountains will be established in the coming years.

Makarora Hub

Project Partner: Forest & Bird, Central Otago Lakes Branch
Number of Traps: ≈ 1358
At Risk / Threatened Bird Species:
Mohua, yellow-crowned kākāriki, kea, kākā, rock wren, Black-billed gull, black-fronted tern, banded dotterel, wrybill

The Central Otago-Lakes Branch of Forest and Bird established trapping lines in the Makarora valley in the late 1990s, to protect a small Mohua population. Since then, the trapping programme has expanded greatly, but remains a volunteer operation. This work is undertaken under the Makarora Predator Control Operational Plan, a partnership between the Department of Conservation and Forest and Bird, to protect and restore indigenous plants and fauna under threat in the Makarora valley. The purpose, objectives, and milestones are still focussed on Mohua, with secondary goals of protecting other bush birds and remnant areas of mixed podocarp forest.

Matukituki Hub

Project Partner: Matukituki Charitable Trust
Number of Traps: ≈ 2424
At Risk / Threatened Bird Species:
Black-billed gull, black-fronted tern, banded dotterel, kārearea, kea, kākā, yellow-crowned kākāriki, South Island robin, whio, wrybill, marsh crake

The Matukituki Catchment Animal Pest Control Project is a coalition of four community groups, nine landowners, and four local tourism businesses. These groups run trap lines along or adjacent to almost the entire length of the Matukituki River. This trapping encompasses a diverse range of habitats ranging from alpine snow tussock and beech forest in the West and East Matukituki, to braided river habitat adjacent to pastoral grassland in the lower reaches.

Dart / Rees / Greenstone Hub

Project Partner: Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust
Number of Traps:1399
At Risk / Threatened Bird Species:
Wrybill, black-fronted tern, black-billed gull, banded dotterel, mohua, kea, kākā, yellow-crowned kākāriki, rock wren

Since 2013, the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust has taken up the challenge to protect a host of species in the Routeburn and Dart Valleys. In partnership with the Department of Conservation, tourism operators, the local community and generous sponsors, the trust runs multiple trap-lines near Glenorchy – from the valley floor to the alpine zone. Projects include protecting Rock Wren in the Harris Saddle and Hollyford Valley, trapping both sides of Lake Wakatipu to stop the invasion of hedgehogs and trapping in and around the Dart and Rees braided rivers to protect native river bird species.

Motatapu Hub

Project Partner: SOHO Properties Ltd
Number of Traps: ≈ 661
At Risk / Threatened Bird Species:
Kārearea, kea, rock wren, fernbird, grey duck

Motatapu Station is one of four high country working sheep stations located west of Wānaka owned by Soho Property Ltd. The four properties are largely protected by way of QEII covenants established in 2015 which, combined with the Soho, Glencoe, and Coronet Peak Stations, comprises a 53,000 hectare area where natural values on private land are protected in perpetuity. The Mahu Whenua programme is supported by a long-term vision for restored ecosystems and the recovery of biodiversity. Restoration of habitat paired with predator control provides a comprehensive approach to the Station’s conservation programme.

Wānaka-Hāwea Hub

Project Partner: Wānaka Backyard Trapping
Number of Traps:860

At Risk / Threatened Bird Species:
Black-fronted tern, black-billed gull, banded dotterel, Australasian crested grebe, kārearea

Wānaka Backyard Trapping (WBT) was formed by volunteers in early 2018 with the mission of protecting populations of local indigenous wildlife such as birds, skinks, geckos and invertebrates. WBT are working toward this goal in several ways: through predator trapping, raising community awareness and empowering locals to get involved and learn new skills.

Currently, 110 dedicated volunteers maintain 18 traplines on public land around Lake Wānaka, Lake Hāwea, the Cardrona, Clutha and Hāwea rivers, Albert Town and Luggate, adjacent to waterways or in regenerating scrubland. Additionally, more than 60 locals have traps set on their properties to fill in the gaps. WBT run education initiatives, training workshops and events to promote, connect and support local trapping efforts.

Whakatipu Hub

Project Partner: Whakatipu Wildlife Trust
Number of Traps: ≈ 3114
At Risk / Threatened Bird Species:
Banded dotterel, black-billed gull, black-fronted tern, kārearea, kea, Australasian crested grebe, marsh crake

The Whakatipu Wildlife Trust (WWT) was formed in 2017 at the request of both the Department of Conservation and the Queenstown Lakes District Council to serve as an umbrella organisation to connect, grow, and support the region’s predator-free efforts. The trust coordinates the efforts of over 45 trapping groups who are engaged in activities to help make the Queenstown Lakes District predator-free. The Trust’s vision is to encourage growth, support the efforts of new groups and to help to educate the wider community on how we can all play a part in helping our native wildlife to flourish.

Cardrona Hub

Project Partner: TBC
Number of Traps:98
At Risk / Threatened Bird Species: Karearea, Kea, Pipit, Grand Skink, Otago Skink, Orange-spotted Gecko, Nevis Skink, Lakes Skink, Cryptic Skink, Pallid Skink, Kawarau Gecko, Clutha Flathead Galaxias (fish)

Cardrona Hub is a new hub created in 2022 by the Southern Lakes Sanctuary Trust. We will look to work with local businesses, landowners and communities to further the conservation effort in the region and hope to develop a trapping network and monitoring programs akin to our larger hubs. The Cardrona valley is important habitat for the threated Karearea which nests across the area. More than any of our other Hubs, the Cardrona Hub boasts an impressive selection of at-risk or threatened reptile species which makes this region a location of national significance for the protection of skinks and geckos.