Soiree raises $54,000 for Cardrona Valley falcons

Pictured: Real Journeys general manager Paul Norris with Dr Victoria Smith from the Marlborough Falcon Trust and Hera the kārearea. Photo: Supplied.

Real Journeys Birds of a Feather Ball raised $54,000 last Saturday to support and gain insight into the alpine habitat of New Zealand’s at-risk kārearea falcon.

Wayfare chief executive Richard Lauder said this event was the first time two of the Wayfare group companies have combined forces to help conservation. 

“The money raised will enable the Cardrona Kārearea Conservation Project team to close a significant knowledge gap in the scientific understanding of kārearea in the South Island high country environment,” said Lauder.

Real Journey’s Sharon Leamy said, “The endemic kārearea...is NZ’s only falcon species and a taonga within our environment. This species is also NZ’s most threatened bird of prey, with predation by introduced mammalian predators, loss of habitat and wide-ranging human impact all having an adverse effect. Cardrona Valley has a small population of kārearea, presenting an ideal opportunity to develop a science-based conservation approach in tussock grassland montane ecosystems.”

She added, “The project will include targeted observations of breeding pairs, along with leg-banding and tracking of individuals to gain insight into habitat use and territory size... Extensive assessment of the impact of exotic predators will allow the development of a targeted predator control strategy.”

Since its launch in 2015, the Birds of a Feather Ball events have raised almost $340,000 in total for conservation.

Forest and Bird NZ’s Ben Goddard said, “It is great to see an organisation raising funds for an indigenous species, particularly one as influential as Real Journeys. It is a trend I expect being adopted by more businesses in the future as they look to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility by ‘Creating Shared Value.’ ...This is a great start in moving towards a transparent future where all individuals and businesses are in support of the natural world and biosphere.”


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