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New Zealand dotterel standing in river
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Coastal birds like tūturiwhatu (New Zealand dotterel) are facing shrinking habitats between rising sea levels and human developments on land.

South Island
Southland/Stewart Island
Yellow-eyed penguin

Yellow-eyed penguin. Credit: Kimberley Collins - Creative Commons

The Southland Branch of Forest and Bird branch stretches to the Catlins in the east, Te Anau in the west and up through central Southland to Queenstown.

The Southland landscape includes two of New Zealand’s largest National Parks (Fiordland and Stewart Island), the largest RAMSAR wetland site in the country at Awarua/Waituna as well as mountain ranges, extensive native forest areas, one of the largest coastlines in the country. Southland also contains large areas of intensive farmland.

Two large hands on projects for Southland Branch members and supporters are  – Te Rere yellow eyed penguin reserve and Tautuku Forest cabins and Lenz Reserve. Additionally the Branch runs a programme of  monthly trips (in the summer) and talks (in winter) as well as working weekends to Te Rere and Tautuku. For Forest & Bird's 90th Celebrations – the Branch built a bird watching shelter with interpretation at the Invercargill Estuary Lagoon, on the Sutton walkway.

Get involved

There are numerous opportunities to volunteer and get involved in conservation projects in Southland.

Volunteering is not only interesting and rewarding but it is also satisfying to know that you are making a difference. Make the time to go out and enjoy the wonderful natural areas that Southland has to offer and be inspired by nature. Visit the Branches new Bird Viewing Shelter at the Sutton lagoon, Invercargill (our 90th aniversary project).

Southland Branch has its own projects (Te Rere and Tautuku) but also supports many other conservation projects throughout the Southland Region. As our members are geographically spread over a large area you may find activities you can help with in the list below. See our calendar of events for exact dates and contacts. Email the Branch email address for other information or offers to help.

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