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Project type:
Conservation project
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The shell bank with the Harbour Bridge in the background

Spoonbills feed along the shell bank at Motu Manawa (Pollen Island) with the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the background. Credit: Kent Xie

Motu Manawa (Pollen Island) is one of Auckland’s few large inner city estuarine areas. Situated in the Waterview Bay of Waitemata Harbour, it has been a wetland and shellbank habitat since the last ice age

From 1880s till the 1950s over 90% of Auckland’s wetlands were drained, so this tidal area is prized by wetland birds. It is one of the few significant wetland bird feeding & breeding grounds in the Waitemata Harbour. For over 50 years, Waterview Bay behind Motu Manawa suffered from sewage overflows, but after Forest & Bird got a marine reserve established in 2005, Auckland City Council was forced to clean up this area. Now, we are actively working to ensure the two islands within the marine reserve (Traherne and Pollen Island) are pest-free and weed-free so that native flora and fauna can flourish again.

Motu Manawa: Sewage-free, pest-free, weed-free.

Since 2005, Forest & Bird has undertaken pest-busting and weed-banishing activities to ensure the native plants (harakeke, manuka, karamu, mapou, karo) and animals can thrive.

Currently the islands are accessible by kayak at high tide or on foot at low tide however ultimately we would like to improve public access by creating a safe bird-walk using a marked trial.

We are also conducting field studies to discover what other plants, animals and reptiles live on and around these islands and surrounding lands. 

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