SIRCET’s mission is to “pursue projects that will enhance both our community and environment”.
The Halfmoon Bay Habitat Restoration Project, SIRCET’s main project, is all about creating an open sanctuary in our extended backyard so that native wildlife can thrive. Volunteers are the backbone of this project, they are involved in trapping for animal pests, monitoring birds, weeding and re-vegetation work. This restoration project will ensure that our grandchildren will not need to visit a museum to see our treasured native birds, insects and lizards, but can live amongst wildlife as their ancestors did. We aim to protect and encourage the birds already in the township area, and eventually re-introduce those species that have disappeared from the area due to mammalian predators. To carry out its objectives, SIRCET carries out a pest control operation in a 210 hectare area from Golden Bay Road to Ackers Point.
Alongside animal pest control, SIRCET has a strong focus on managing pest plants as part of SIRCET’s War on Weeds project. By controlling weeds, native plants are encouraged to thrive and our native insects, reptiles and birds can eat food they’ve evolved with. In our Community native plant nursery we propagate many different native plants, providing eco-sourced native species to replace weed species and restoration projects at Lonnekers Beach, Mill Creek and Harrold’s Bay. Plants are also available to local residents for an affordable donation.
Stewart Island tokoeka (kiwi) benefit from the pest control at Acker’s Point. Our Stewart Island tokoeka advocacy, protection and monitoring project encourages residents and visitors to help the kiwi we’re lucky enough to enjoy around the Oban township.
Stewart Island locals are heavily involved with all aspects of the Trust, whether it’s volunteering their time or skills to the Trust, allowing access to land for pest control, providing equipment or contributing hard earned dollars towards the cause. We have started a Community Trap Library to help new trappers work out which trap is for them or seasoned trappers to try out the latest technology for a time. We host community events and visiting schools throughout the year to help spread our conservation message.
Our Rakiura Environment Centre is centrally located in the Halfmoon Bay township. It is the first point of call for visitors to the island who want to know more about the local environment and about SIRCET’s projects. A great interactive and learning facility that appeals to people of all ages. Visitors can follow the progress of our Sponsor-a-Hectare program on the Sponsor a Hectare map.