Wellington Zoo is excited to announce they have selected five local conservation projects to support through their Local Conservation Grants programme.

“Conservation is at the heart of everything we do at Wellington Zoo, and we’re thrilled to be able to support so many amazing projects throughout the Greater Wellington Region and on the Chatham Islands this year,” says Wellington Zoo’s Conservation Manager, Dr Ox Lennon.


“We wouldn’t be able to provide these grants without the support of our community. 10% of every Zoo experience purchased goes directly into the Wellington Zoo Partners in Conservation Fund. A portion of our Partners in Conservation fund goes back to local projects that encourage wildlife and wild places to thrive.”


Total funding awarded this year was $13,985 and the grants cover a range of conservation activities, from restoring seaweed forests to GPS tracking one of the world’s most endangered seabirds, the Chatham Islands taiko. All the recipients are based in the Greater Wellington Region and the Chatham Islands and have clear community conservation value for native wildlife and wild places. 


“Wellington Zoo exists to inspire our community to take action for conservation, and to save wildlife and wild places,” says Dr Ox. 


“Conservation projects like the ones we are funding are part of the reason the Wellington region is so special, and we’re thrilled to be able to continue to support their mahi.” 


Wellington Zoo has funded 20 local conservation projects since the Local Conservation Grants began in 2019.


Dr Ox Lennon says it’s been inspiring to follow the journey of these projects.  “It’s been really inspiring to see so many passionate people dedicating their time and effort to projects that look after our local biodiversity as well as benefiting our community and planet.”



Local Conservation Grant Recipients 2022/23


Addressing the conservation conundrum of the Sooty shearwater on Kāpiti Island (Etienne Ossona de Mendez, PhD student University of Auckland) 

To investigate weka predation of tītī on Kāpiti island as part of a PhD project, to inform conservation management. The funding will be used to pay for stable isotope diet analysis and flights/accommodation for the student while undertaking the study.


GPS tracking of the Chatham Island Tāiko (Johannes Chambon, PhD student University of Otago) 

To pay for flights and accommodation to/from Chatham Islands for a PhD pilot study on GPS use on Chatham Islands tāiko. This is supported by the Chatham Islands Tāiko Trust who we have supported through Local Conservation Grants two years in a row, as well as through a staff conservation grant.


Love Rimurimu (Mountains to Sea Trust Wellington) 

This will fund kura students to grow giant kelp at kura and then plant them along Wellington coastline to support kelp forest restoration.


Predator Free Paekakariki (Predator Free Paekakariki)

To purchase DOC150 traps for a predator control community group in Paekakariki, to expand their trapping efforts throughout the community and protect local wildlife.


He Kākano: Nursery security system (Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira Incorporated Society) 

We supported Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira in our previous funding round, and were very impressed with their work growing plants for local restoration efforts. This year’s funding is to purchase a replacement for their laptop which was sadly stolen.