Maketu Ongatoro Wetlands Society Cover Photo
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Maketu Ongatoro Wetlands Society

Maketū Ōngātoro Wetland Society (MOWS) is a community conservation group that looks to conserve, protect and restore the native biodiversity of the lower Kaituna River, Maketū Estuary, Waihi Estuary, and the surrounding area. The work started in 2009 with the purpose of protecting native NZ dotterel, but has since expanded to protect several native species including endangered Australasian bittern, fernbird, spotless and marsh crake, banded rail, black-billed gulls, variable oystercatcher and shore skink. Maketu Spit is now home to the largest contiguous nesting colony of over 6000 red-billed gulls. Both estuaries provide important roosting and wintering habitat for nearly 100 species of shorebirds including wrybill, bar-tailed godwit and banded dotterel. Throughout the 140 ha that we manage, we maintain a large network of traps and bait stations to control invasive mammalian pests, target invasive weeds, plant native plants to restore habitats and conduct ecological monitoring to ensure our actions are making a positive impact on the ecosystem and the species we aim to protect. In addition, we deliver a large school education programme and have hosted over 150 field trips to hundreds of children from 9 local school. Together with the schools, we integrate a more practical approach to learning and now students conduct their own monitoring as well as participate in planting and restoration activities.

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Maketu Ongatoro Wetlands Society is in position #174 in the Australia Community Grant category

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