Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Answer the call to connect with nature this Conservation Week (15-23 September) and give our native species and natural landscapes a helping hand.

Date:  11 September 2018

New Zealand’s native wildlife is in crisis with more than 4,000 species threatened or at risk. It’s not just well-known birds like whio and kea under threat but also fungi, snails, plants lizards, insects and fish. Some of our vulnerable West Coast locals include the Chesterfield skink, the kōtuku/white heron and the tāiko/Westland petrel.

There are less than 200 Chesterfield skinks left in the world and 50 of them were relocated to the Auckland Zoo after February’s cyclone Fehi destroyed a portion of their only known habitat near Hokitika. The kōtuku is rare in New Zealand and its only breeding site in the country is a swamp-forest near Whataroa. The tāiko was discovered by Barrytown school students and are endemic to New Zealand (found only here). Their only breeding site is on the Coast near Punakaiki.

West Coasters have a huge natural backyard to enjoy and protect. “We’re very lucky on the Coast, it’s easy to get outdoors and close to nature,” says Department of Conservation Community Ranger Lauren Kelley.

“This Conservation Week, we’re encouraging people to take time to experience some of our walking and tramping tracks, bring a bag on your next beach walk to pick up some rubbish, register your dog in weka and penguin aversion training, join a Conservation Week trapping event in Franz Josef or Haast or take the family on a Toyota Kiwi Guardian adventure. Every effort helps, no matter how small.”

Find more information and events.

View maps of our local Toyota Kiwi Guardians sites.

To register your dog on aversion training, email Ranger Fiona Anderson at with your preferred booking time between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm on either Saturday 22 September or Sunday 23 September. $20 per dog is required to cover the cost of the facilitator.

There are many ways to contribute to conservation throughout the year including lending a hand to a local conservation group getting rid of introduced pests such as weeds, stoat, rats and possums, planting native trees and sharing your outdoor skills and knowledge with others. When we pull together we can make a big difference.


For media enquiries contact:


Back to top