Te Manahuna Aoraki is a landscape scale project restoring the iconic natural landscapes and threatened species of the upper Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.
The project stretches across 310,000 hectares of both public and private land including braided river systems and alpine habitats. Launched in 2018, the objective is to achieve a completely predatorfree area in 20 years.
Te Manahuna Aoraki will secure a safe habitat for endangered species ranging from kea and tuke/rock wren in the alpine zone to braided river species such as ngutu pare/wrybill, kaki/black stilt and tūturiwhatu/banded dotterel. Many other species including robust grasshoppers, skinks and scree weta, the yellow alpine buttercup, New Zealand mousetail and cypress hebe will benefit from this work.
The Department of Conservation founded the project together with the NEXT Foundation, Te Rūnaka o Arowhenua, Te Rūnaka o Waihao and Te Rūnaka o Moeraki. Te Manahuna Aoraki is partnering with high country landowners, councils, government departments and philanthropists to work towards a common vision.
Manahuna Aoraki are pushing the boundaries of predator exclusion areas. The natural landscape is being put to good use. Alpine ridgelines, Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo form natural barriers for predator movements the project is investigating the possibility of protecting the valley edges with “short line low height fences” (red line in the project map).
There is already one special exclusion area as part of the project, they’ve developed the first purpose built predator exclusion area for the robust grasshopper.
Read more on their work: