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Taranaki Mounga Project

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Taranaki Mounga is an ambitious conservation project. It aims to transform the mountain, ranges, and islands of Taranaki. The purpose of the project is to restore the Mounga's environment in partnership with iwi, agencies, and community. Parts of this project which use digital mapping will be looked at on the field trip.

Three main phases

Secure

The first phase is to secure the Mounga from weeds and animal pests. This will protect biodiversity already present and secure the park from further damage. The project will involve pest and weed control over more than 34,000 hectares from mountains to sea.

Taranaki Mounga aims to eradicate goats. Possums, rodents, hares, and mustelids will be controlled through a combination of trapping, ground and aerial predator control.

The project also aims to eliminate and manage re-invasion from the worst weeds. These include wild ginger, climbing asparagus, and others where possible.

Restore

Getting rid of weeds and predators will allow birds and other native species to thrive and reproduce successfully.

Taranaki Mounga will reintroduce lost species like toutouwai/robin, kākāriki, kākā, and seabirds like petrels. Eventually it is hoped kōkako, bats, and tīeke/saddleback will once again flourish on the Mounga.

The project will also work to boost populations of species already there. These include kiwi, whio/blue duck, pekapeka/long tailed bats, Powelliphanta snails. Also, rare plants like Dactylanthus and the endemic Melicytus drucei shrub, found only on Taranaki and nearby Pouakai.

Sustain

Taranaki Mounga aims to inspire young people to be the next generation of kaitiaki of the Mounga and national park. The aim in 20 years is to see ecological, social, and cultural change for the better on the Mounga. But there will be ongoing work needed to ensure the outcomes are maintained.

The project objectives will be complimented and enhanced by two supporting outcomes:

The creation of a halo

Taranaki Mounga will work with partners to develop innovative, effective means of pest control to protect the park and beyond. Taranaki Regional Council are leading this work. A halo of protection around the Mounga is a part of the recently announced Taranaki Taku Tūranga, towards a predator free Taranaki programme of work (https://trc.govt.nz/environment/working-together/pf-taranaki2050/).

The creation of a halo will minimise the risk of pests and predators migrating onto the Mounga. It will also provide habitat for species that move out of the national park and into the surrounding environment.

Oranga Mounga Oranga Tangata – Healthy Nature, Healthy People

This part of the project recognises that being in nature is good for wellbeing; in this case, a connection with the Mounga. The project will enable the development of other important plans that will work to improve the communities, health, education, skill development and wellbeing because of the close connection with nature and the Taranaki Mounga project.

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Conservation mapping: Find out more about a conservation project happening near your place. How is digital mapping being used to help the project? Are there parts of the project that would benefit from using digital mapping tools?

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The Taranaki Mounga Project aims to transform the mountain, ranges, and islands of Taranaki. Image: Rodney Allen.

Birds like this toutouwai/robin will be reintroduced to the maunga as part of the project. Image: Tony Green.

Mapping is an important part of a conservation project like Taranaki Mounga. Maps are used for such things as tracking areas where whio have been released, as well as places where predator trapping is taking place. Image: Pat Murphy.