Wildlife Trust gets a boost

From left to right: David Penrose, Tom Pryde, Mark Owens Aoibheann Monaghan, and Leslie Van Gelder.

Last week, the Wakatipu Wildlife Trust was thrilled to be able to accept a donation of $75,000 from the Hugo Charitable Trust, which will go towards making the Wakatipu Basin predator free. The trust, founded in 2017, began with 6 smaller trapping groups which encouraged residents to band together and trap in their own backyards. Since then, the trust has grown to 38 trapping groups that have helped in decreasing the predatory pest population in the Wakatipu area. 

Chairman of the Trust Tom Pryde said that, “we’re so appreciative of the generosity of the Hugo Charitable Trust in supporting us so that we can fund our Executive Officer role and cover our office overhead. Everyone likes to fund traps but without someone to coordinate the efforts we can’t do the major work that needs doing.”

Leslie Van Gelder, the WWT’s Executive Officer, added that she is, “amazed by the generosity of the Hugo Charitable Trust,” and that, “it’s this kind of philanthropy that makes for enduring change and will make a huge difference towards what the WWT will be able to accomplish now and in the future.” 

The Hugo Charitable Trust was founded in May of 2017 by Maryanne Green, the eldest daughter of the late Irish philanthropist Hugh (Hugo) Green. The charity aims to ‘give back to the people of New Zealand’ and has, this year, donated to 143 charities and in excess of $3.5 million towards the benefit of kiwis nationwide. Green said that, “we can see first-hand the positive impact WWT’s trapping programme has had on the Lake Hayes area in terms of the increase in native birdlife,” she added that, “protecting New Zealand’s unique biodiversity will provide many environmental, social, economic and intrinsic benefits and is a responsibility we all share.”


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