Located within Cascade Kauri Park and the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, Ark in the Park is home to ancient forest giants, pristine waterfalls and streams, and some very special wildlife.
Ark in the Park is a collaborative project between Forest & Bird and Auckland Council, supported by local mana whenua Te Kawerau ā Maki. The Ark is also a member of the Sanctuaries of New Zealand collective and the Pest Free Waitākere Ranges Alliance.
Photo by Jacqui Geux
“From the ridges to the sea: restoration of the Waitākere Ranges to create a safe haven for native species which is rich and diverse, and is valued by present and future generations.”
This vision sets the scene for the wealth of conservation work that happens at the Ark year-round. It is made possible by our community of 400 volunteers. This work is supported further by a small team of staff, with specialist contractors who help with specific pieces of work.
A Mainland Island Sanctuary
As a mainland island, the Ark has no boundary fence. This has allowed us to expand our predator control work without barriers, and follow native wildlife populations as they establish territories in newly protected habitats.
Predator control within the Ark must be continuous and ongoing. Introduced predators are kept to low levels with a grid of bait stations, a network of traps and ongoing vigilance!
This ongoing work allows existing populations of native wildlife such as plants, fungi, insects, frogs, bats and birds to recover. It also means we can safely return species that were once present in the Waitākere Ranges through our translocation programme. So far, toutouwai/North Island robins have been successfully reintroduced, and there is a growing population of North Island kōkako.
The concept of Ark in the Park was first voiced in 1999, and predator control began in 2002 to protect 300 hectares within the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. Over the years, we have seen native wildlife bounce back, and translocated species that were previously lost returned. Today, our thriving volunteer community services a network of traps and bait stations across more than 2,200 hectares.
Photo by Grant Capill
Supporting a Predator Free New Zealand
It’s an exciting time for conservation in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The launch of Predator Free 2050 sets an ambitious target and much-needed investment in funding, research and innovation.
As one of Aotearoa’s largest un-fenced mainland islands, the Ark has an important role to play in helping to achieve this goal, by getting people involved in conservation and protecting native species and their habitats.
Our Five Year Plan
Our five-year plan sets out goals and actions for the protection, management and restoration of the species and ecosystems at Ark in the Park for the next 5-years and beyond. It was developed in 2016, in collaboration with our project partners and local iwi.