Paradise Valley Springs

27 November 18

Saving NZ wildlife

Owner and operator of Paradise Valley Springs (PVS), Stuart Hamlett, is an avid supporter of protecting the native birds of New Zealand from becoming extinct. Applying his passion about the preservation of the native birds at PVS, he has naturally turned his attention to saving other seriously endangered native birds around New Zealand. 

Along with his staff, he has not only sponsored conservation projects but also provided physical labour in aid of providing animal control in remote and at times dangerous areas. Since 2013, PVS have provided extra funding (NZ $47,000) to a Southland organisation and DOC in Te Anau for two different programmes to help save the endangered Whio (native Blue Ducks).

The Kea bird was recently down-graded to ‘nationally threatened’ by DOC but the stoats, rates, feral cats and the Aussie brushtail possums are still leading it towards extinction. Concerned at the low numbers of the Kea bird in the Fiordland National Park (which has the highest conservation status within New Zealand – ‘world heritage status’), Stuart suggested an initiative for certain Fiordland National Park users (hunters) to undertake annual Kea presence/absence counts and at the same time introduce the Southland organisation to the Kea Conservation Trust.

The initiative, Kea project, was ‘hatched’ to capture and band Kea birds with transmitters being attached to adult females to locate their nesting sites and then trap around those sites, predators who are killing their chicks and even adults in their nesting holes as well as eating their eggs. The first capture programme fell short of funding by $20,000 but PVS donated the shortfall to ensure it still went ahead. The result was the largest capture of Kea birds ever undertaken in New Zealand and further captures are to be planned annually to identify more Kea bird nesting sites.

GPT are pleased to be able to provide a NZ $250 donation to the Kea project and continue to support Stuart with his contribution towards the public awareness on the plight of this native New Zealand bird.

Key Contacts

Malcolm Hegh (North Island)

Julia Savill (South Island)

Karen Lowe (Tour Guide Manager)

Jenny Saunders (Tour Operations)

Elena Randello (Quality Assurance)

Vanesa Brcic (Tour Guide Travel Arrangements)

Elizabeth Bezzina (Tour Product)

Stacia Morris (General Manager)

Peter Harding (Managing Director)



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