New Zealand King Salmon has increased its sponsorship of conservation programme Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary.

Located near Picton, Kaipupu is a 40-hectare “mainland island” where native birds, wildlife and bush species are protected by a 600m long predator proof fence and an extensive pest trapping programme, all run by volunteers.

Piwakawaka/Fantail at Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary (image: Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary)

Kaipupu Point project coordinator Rachel Russell says NZKS is one of the project’s longest supporters and this year the sponsorship amount was doubled, “which is just amazing”.

“For any community organisation, funding is a big deal for them. We are very frugal, and every dollar is spent wisely because every project we do we have to find funding for.”

NZKS’s sponsorship increase for Kaipupu relieves pressure, says Rachel, and will be “spent on a variety of things”, including a lizard survey which starts in November.

Rachel says the support of the local community and visitor numbers has increased hugely, from casual day trippers to organised groups such as schools. That recently included Marlborough Girls’ College students who had asked to do volunteer work and cleaned mouse traps: “They didn’t get the most fun job, but they were keen to help.”

“Support has always been there, but now people have come to us saying they want to help, and it’s pretty amazing.”

Kaipupu volunteers range hugely in age from the very young to one particularly active volunteer who is over 80, says Rachel.

NZKS community sponsorship and events coordinator Chelsea Yates says given NZKS’s proactive approach to sustainability, Kaipupu Point is the perfect partner and falls in line with NZKS values.

“We are very pleased to support such a worthwhile project that is not only achieving some amazing environmental outcomes, such as successfully attracting more native birdlife and even providing a safe home for some very rare species, but drawing in the wider community to become more involved in conservation, right in their own back yard.”