Peninsular makes up the northern side of Port Abercrombie. It is over
600 ha of rugged predominantly bush and scrub covered land. All homes on
the peninsular are located along the waterfront and access is only by
boat. Beyond the houses the land rises steeply to a main ridgeline.
For many years various Mohunga Residents have been carrying out predator
control around their houses. Native planting and weed control has also
been undertaken. During 2003 some of these people began to discuss
possibilities for extending their initiatives over a wider area and in
2004 the Department of Conservation Biodiversity Advice funds enabled
the contracting of an expert to study and report on the biodiversity of
the peninsular. It was recognized the peninsular has a variety of
different, important habitats and species including native reptiles,
fish, birds and invertebrates. In 2005 The Mohunga Peninsula Restoration
Group Incorporated was registered and consists of residents and
landowners from the peninsular. They are working towards the following
To preserve the native flora and fauna on Mohunga Peninsular.
• To enhance the various habitats to enable the existing indigenous
populations to increase and
to allow introduction of species that have been decimated or eliminated.
• To encourage similar projects on other areas of Aotea.
The Mohunga Peninsular Restoration Project brings together a diverse
range of people to work towards a common goal and fosters a community
spirit. It offers an opportunity to become actively involved in
conservation and provides employment opportunities for local people.
The location of Mohunga Peninsular means that work done on it to protect
biodiversity has significant direct wider implications. It is the
nearest land to Hauturu (Little Barrier Island), the publicly owned (DOC
administered) Nature Reserve. Species such as bell bird arrive from
Hauturu to Mohunga but to date no breeding has been recorded on Great
Barrier Island. It lies adjacent to Kaikoura Island which is currently
being managed by a trust with a vision to eradicate all introduced
mammals from it. It is also close to Glenfern Sanctuary, another private
restoration project with a vision to eradicate mammalian pests. Between
Glenfern Sanctuary and Mohunga Peninsular lies the Great Barrier Outdoor
Pursuits Centre whose students have the opportunity to get involved in
these projects. Each of these projects is significant in itself but if
all these restoration projects proceed, it will provide a significant
and diverse area for protection of a wide range of rare, declining and
or threatened New Zealand flora and fauna.
The group has contracted Envirokiwi Ltd, a local (Okiwi) contracting and
consulting company to manage the progression of the project.
Biz Bell of Wildlife International is currently undertaking species
monitoring including birds, bats, frogs and lizards. Biz’s work focuses
in particular on sea bird monitoring and protection, and
of mammalian pests from islands. Members of the Group are hosting Biz
and volunteering with field work and boat transport around the
peninsular. So far Biz has found Black petrel, Cooks petrel and grey
faced petrel nesting on the peninsular— great news! Biz has also
provided the group with information and insights on some of the options
for managing mammalian pests.
Plans for the coming months include reopening a ridgeline track along
the length of the Peninsular from Orama out to Nagle Cove and a
buffer/access route at the base of the peninsular to the coasts. A 4X4
vehicle will be purchased to allow easier access and transport of
As well as the rodent bait stations that individuals are maintaining
around their properties, the group service bait stations around the Port
Abercrombie shoreline area. These are currently being serviced once a
month. Tracking tunnel lines to monitor rat activity are located over
Cat traps have been established along the top ridge track of the
peninsular and are operated predominantly over the winter months because
of a potential risk to black petrels that may be in the area over that
To maintain pests at low enough numbers to help species recovery and
reintroduce species once living here it is recognized that a predator
proof fence is the most efficient long term option. A proposed fenceline
has been identified with both ends at defendable sites on the coastline.
Approximately 2km of fenceline could protect approximately 600ha of
land. However other options can also be effective at achieving the
objectives of the Group and these are also being considered.