Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust

Photo by Dave Buckton

Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust

Pristine beaches, gorgeous sunshine and…silence? That wasn’t how it was supposed to be. That’s why the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust has been working to restore the wonderful sound of our treasured manu (birds).

And, if you’re a return visitor to the Abel Tasman National Park you’ll now notice an exciting increase in birdsong as you walk along the track. Visitors to Adele Island report that the birdsong is so phenomenal that you can barely hear yourself talk! This is in part due to the fantastic work being done by the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust (Te Poari Koro Tui) to preserve native flora and fauna and to promote the sustainable management of resources in the Abel Tasman National Park. “We are a local trust undertaking all our work for local benefits,” says trust coordinator Abby Butler. “We have more than 100 volunteers assisting with our efforts – everyone can make a difference.”

At 22,530 hectares, the Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest national park. It is world famous for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, estuaries and native forests, but its native flora and fauna have suffered over the years, particularly due to invasive weeds and introduced predators. Without help, wildlife and habitat will continue to be lost, and important organisations like the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust are working hard to restore the ecosystem in this wonderful part of New Zealand.

By working in partnership with tourism operators, the Department of Conservation (DOC), Project Janszoon, and the community, the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust is protecting and enhancing biodiversity in order to improve the experience of visitors, both local and international, to the National Park. A fantastic example of this is a group of supportive Nelson Tasman tourism operators who have undertaken to collect a ‘Birdsong Levy’ for each visitor they bring to the park. Funds raised are then used to protect and restore the Park’s birdlife and biodiversity.

“We hope that this way of collaborating can be used successfully around the country as an example of what can be done when people work together,” says Abby.

“Our short-term goal is to double the size of our current Goodnature A24 rat trapping network.

We have just received a NZ Lotteries grant to undertake this work. Our long-term aim is to contribute positively to both predator control and tree planting.”

If you would like to join the Trust’s passionate team, email atbirdsong1@gmail.com.