Image by Alton Perrie
Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) are very excited to announce a new partnership with Mobil Oil New Zealand. Mobil have signed up as the first official sponsor and partner on our new threatened species programme- Wild Futures. This partnership will have a particular focus on the recovery of the longfin eel and will enable Mobil to make meaningful financial, social and environmental contributions to those communities within which they operate whilst supporting CVNZ’s goal of making a meaningful difference to our environment.
Support from Mobil Oil New Zealand will allow CVNZ to make a significant impact to the habitats of the long fin eel around the Tamaki Estuary in Auckland and the Kaiwharawhara Catchment in Wellington by allowing us to;
- Run a series of community volunteer days to improve water quality through planting riparian margins, cleaning up waterways and removing invasive weeds
- Purchase and install ‘eel townhouses’ as in-stream habitats
- Develop and produce educational materials
- Monitor ecosystem health
- Survey and mitigating barriers to fish passage
- Monitor tuna numbers over time
We are extremely grateful to Mobil for their support and look forward to a long and successful partnership in providing a brighter future for New Zealand’s threatened species.
Wild Futures – Threatened Species
New Zealand, sadly, has one of the highest rates of species loss in the world. A 2008 survey by IUCN found New Zealand topped the list of 130 countries for the percentage of animal species threatened with extinction. Whilst considerable resources are expended in attempting to reverse these processes, with some significant successes, there remains a huge amount of work to be done if we are to prevent the loss of some of New Zealand’s iconic wildlife.
Through our Wild Futures programme, we and our partners will contribute to wildlife conservation in a simple yet powerful way. By working with the Department of Conservation to analyse official Recovery Plans of various endangered species, we have identified the expert-approved conservation actions to which we can provide significant support. Wild Futures provides practical, on the ground actions, in line with these recovery plans, to help New Zealand’s threatened species recover. Now it’s time to implement those actions – actions that we know will give those species brighter, wilder futures. The Wild Futures initiative is about rolling up our sleeves to provide practical assistance to our endangered species. Together, working with volunteers and others, we are making connections to nature and can create lasting change for these species.
The longfin eel, a nationally focused threatened species, are incredible. The longfin eel is one of the largest eels in the world, found only in lakes and rivers of New Zealand and can live to 100 years old. Longfins can be found throughout New Zealand, living mostly in rivers and inland lakes. However, they can also be found well inland due to their incredible climbing skills. Elvers (young eels) can climb waterfalls and dams by wriggling over damp areas, even leaving the water to do so. Eels are known to climb 20 metres up waterfalls. Major threats to the longfin eel are habitat loss and degradation, barriers to migration, pollution and high nutrient levels reducing oxygen. Eels are a strong indicator species of waterway health and as such actions to protect these species have wide reaching benefits for the environment. Recovery efforts for the longfin eel will include riparian restoration through clearing pest plants from riparian margins, planting riparian margins to create shading, groundcover for cleared areas and increasing diversity. River clean ups are also needed to remove waste as well as signage, education and advocacy.