Fiordland Buffer Zone Project
Environment Southland’s existing weed control programme in the Te Anau area received a boost from the Jobs for Nature - Mahi mō te Taiao Government fund in 2021 to help protect Fiordland National Park from invasive weeds, while also providing jobs to local tourism operators.
The fund provided $690,000 over two years for the project.
The project involves weed control in sites throughout a 1km buffer zone alongside the Fiordland National Park, from Manapouri in the south to Milford Sound in the north. The aim is to stop invasive species like cotoneaster and Darwin’s barberry from entering the park, protecting its biodiversity values for future generations.
Environment Southland, the Southland District Council, the Department of Conservation and volunteers have been working in the area for many years to prevent weeds from entering the park, and this project enables us to target larger areas of concern.
During the first year, work focused on controlling seeding plants. Then during the second year it will shift to controlling any remaining seeding plants and then juvenile plants still left in the buffer zone.
Following the end of the programme management of cotoneaster and Darwin’s barberry in the area will be up to the landowner.
The local community has been hugely supportive in this project.