Community conservation

 / ©: Helen Moodie
Kiwis are our national symbol. They are also endangered. Here a kiwi named Fern is benefiting from a local conservation initiative at Whangarei Heads, one of the community-based groups funded by WWF.
© Helen Moodie
Our unique environment…
New Zealand has an amazing variety of landscapes and a range of unusual species. We have a very high percentage of birds, reptiles and invertebrates that are found nowhere else in the world. Unusally, we also have no indigenous land mammals (apart from two species of bat) and birds fill the role that mammals take in other countries.

… under threat
Yet this amazing flora and fauna is under serious threat. Since humans arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand around 800 years ago 32% (or 58) species of land and freshwater birds have become extinct. A large number of other animals and plants are listed as threatened or vulnerable to extinction, and the situation is getting worse.

The main threats are caused by habitat loss and degradation driven by urban development and intensification of farming. Invasive animals and plants also threaten to out-compete or predate our native flora and fauna.
WWF-New Zealand is working with local communities to halt and reverse these threats. We do this by:
  • Running the Habitat Protection Fund, a financial fund open to community-led conservation groups to help them protect and restore habitat in their area
  • Developing partnerships with local councils, iwi, communities and government agencies to increase the effectiveness of conservation at a grass roots level. This is the goal of the Community Conservation Innovation Programme
  • Offering a range of resources to help support community-led conservation groups. We  offer expert advice and assist local groups  to help them become more effective in what they do
  • Developing a groundbreaking landscape-wide restoration porgramme - Reconnecting Northland - in partnership with NZ Landcare Trust