Conservation in the Park

Abel Tasman Tree Collective
October 6, 2017

Pest animal and weed control.

When we founded our EcoTours in 2013, the Birdsong Trust was our first avenue to donate to conservation. The Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust is a partnership between commercial operators, the community and the Department of Conservation The vision is to protect and enhance biodiversity and improve the visitor experience in Abel Tasman National Park. It is a Charitable Trust, formed in 2007 and registered with the NZ Charities Commission, and the Inland Revenue Department as a charity. It is separate from the Department of Conservation and commercial tourism operators in the Park, but works closely with them and the local community, on local projects for local benefits.

EcoTours represents the tourism operators on the board of Trustees and we are also a platinum donor.

Project Janszoon is a privately funded trust working with the Department of Conservation, the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust, the community and local iwi to restore the ecology of the Abel Tasman National Park over a 30-year time frame. Named after the Dutch Explorer Abel “Janszoon” Tasman, the trust aims to reverse the trend of ecological decline in the park by reducing predator numbers and weeds, restoring ecosystems, and re-introducing native birds, animals and plants into a thriving park environment. Project Janszoon was launched in 2012 and will complete its work on the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the park and 400-year anniversary of Abel Tasman’s “discovery” of New Zealand in 2042.

EcoTours has collaborated on several projects with Janszoon, including The Sir Peter Blake Young Environmental Leaders Forum, tree planting and survey work. We are assisting Trustee Philip Simpson in the writing of his book on the park and our guide Fay is also employed as an education ranger from DoC / Project Janszoon. We are also the only company to take visitors to the Aviary at Wainui clearing and feed the captive birds acclimatizing for their release into the park.

The Department of Conservation administers the National Park. All of the conservation is done in partnership and with guidance of the Department. As commercial operators we must own a concession to be able to operate in conservation areas and we pay an annual fee to the department for every visitor we bring into the park. This fund goes directly back into the park’s infrastructure to make the park a more enjoyable and safe place to be.

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