Belmont Park restoration hosts kārearea, a rare guest
For the last eight years, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Belmont Area Mountain Bike Association (BAMBA) have been restoring 24 hectares of Belmont Regional Park’s native ecosystem.
To date, 1685 wilding pine trees have been removed by hand to make way for a green corridor of regenerating forest, and in the process maintain the bike trails.
It seems their efforts are already paying off with a BAMBA volunteer catching a rare glimpse of the kārearea, New Zealand's only endemic falcon.
Greater Wellington Belmont Regional Park Ranger, Jeremy Paterson says, “It’s so special to see more kārearea out here in the Stratton Street valley, 15 years ago you just wouldn’t have dreamt of it.”
The kārearea is a recovering species, whose numbers declined dramatically due to clearance of native vegetation across New Zealand.
Prior to the spotting, there have been two previously recorded pairs in the Park. However, according to volunteers this new guest is quickly becoming a local.
“With the hard work done to date, the biodiversity in this area is continuing to increase,” says Jeremy.
Belmont Regional Park is one of eight parks that Greater Wellington manages. Our park ranger service involves working with our communities to restore our unique biodiversity and to make the park a great place to visit.
Parks Portfolio Leader Councillor, Prue Lamason says, “Seeing more of these native species also speaks to the success of Greater Wellington’s Key Native Ecosystem programme and the investment in the Korokoro Valley’s key native ecosystem in particular.
“Working together with BAMBA, the Korokoro Environmental Group and our other dedicated volunteers, Greater Wellington is leading the protection of this very special corner of Belmont Regional Park for all of the Wellington Region.”
Greater Wellington Parks are free to visit all year around - find out more.