Ten WWF success stories of 2016 | WWF New Zealand

Ten WWF success stories of 2016

Posted on
15 December 2016
As a supporter of WWF, you help us to protect our planet and its animals. Thanks to you, we’ve had another great year! 

From supporting our native Māui dolphin to giving China’s pandas a boost, here are some of the victories that you’ve helped us achieve.

Fishers make extraordinary move to save Māui dolphins

In a potential game-changer for New Zealand's critically endangered Māui dolphin, two New Zealand fishing companies have announced their commitment to the goal of removing fishing-related threats from the entire Māui dolphin habitat.

Both Moana New Zealand and Sanford Limited are showing leadership by committing to withdraw their set netting, and invest in alternative fishing techniques to replace conventional trawling. Both these steps could reduce accidental harm done to these wonderful animals. 

Ross Sea protected

Nestled around part of Antarctica, and home to valuable species including Adélie penguins and South Pacific Weddell seals, the Ross Sea was finally granted protection in October. Full or partial marine reserve protection was established over an area covering 1,550,000 km2.

New Zealand was one of the countries that worked as part of the Commission that set up this zone. With your support, WWF lobbied for years for this protection, and will continue to campaign for creation of more marine reserves closer to home.

Giant panda no longer 'endangered'

Wonderful news for one of the planet’s most iconic species - the giant panda has been taken off the ‘endangered species’ list!

The adorable black-and-white bears are still classed as vulnerable – but their numbers are slowly increasing. It shows conservation efforts are working.

This is thanks to work by the Chinese authorities and organisations including WWF - and also to the wonderful support of people like you.


Million Dollar Mouse

The remote Antipodes Island is home to 60 bird species, including erect crested penguins and albatrosses. These birds were under threat from mice, which compete with the birds for food.

This year the Million Dollar Mouse project was carried out, using aerial poison drops to eradicate the mice - and give the local birds a chance to thrive.

The New Zealand public raised $250,000 and WWF gave $100,000 towards the project, half of which was donated by supporters like you. WWF joined The Morgan Foundation and Island Conservation as key partners of the project.

Challenge 55

This year people from all over the country took part in their own specially-designed fundraising challenges as part of WWF’s ‘Challenge 55’ to save the critically endangered Māui dolphin.

These animals are the smallest and rarest marine dolphin in the world – they are found only off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, but are at risk from netting and trawling.

Whether it’s running 55km, picking up 55kg of rubbish or baking 55 cakes, New Zealanders took up the Challenge to help save one of New Zealand’s most endangered animals.

Global wild tiger population on the up 

One of the most iconic animals on the planet, everyone’s favourite big cats are in big trouble due to rampant poaching.

Supported by WWF, the Tx2 campaign aims to support tiger countries double the number of wild tigers globally. With the project at its halfway point, there is good news: Their numbers have increased for the first time! As of April 2016, there are now estimated to be 3890 tigers in the wild.

Your wonderful support helps make projects like this possible.

Protecting the Kermadecs

After eight years of campaigning from WWF and partners – and the support of people like you - the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill is close to becoming reality. The bill, which will set up the world’s largest no-take marine reserve around New Zealand’s northern Kermadec Islands, is making its way through Parliament despite fierce opposition from the fishing industry.

The region is home to a unique variety of marine life including sharks, whales and turtles. 

Climate open letter

It’s time to make the world a better place by rising to the challenge of climate change.  

This year businesses, health professionals, scientists, academics, conservationists, knights, bishops and a dame all came together to send an open letter to the government calling for action on climate change.

Your support makes work like this possible - and you can add your voice to the letter too!

Kererū count

The 2016 Great Kererū Count inspired Kiwis from all over the country to get outside and spot these iconic birds in forests, gardens and streets. In total, we had 5,880 sightings, with 11,990 kererū counted. 

The count is part of the Kererū Discovery project, encouraging people to appreciate and care for these wonderful birds. The data helps us build a picture of where kererū are thriving – and where they’re not.

2016 Conservation Innovation Awards

WWF's 2016 Conservation Innovation Awards were held in November.

Thanks to you and the support of The Tindall Foundation, WWF-New Zealand was able to award three prizes of $25,000 to three pioneering Kiwi inventions. Congratulations to DroneCounts, River Watch Water Testing Device and Stop Kauri Dieback.

The future of conservation is looking bright!



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