The Chatham Heritage and Restoration Trust (CHART) aims to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Chatham Islands.
The Chatham Islands, 800km east of New Zealand's South Island, are an isolated, low lying group of islands with a rich and unique flora, fauna and history. CHART hopes to assist the Chatham Islands community to protect and restore their heritage by undertaking conservation and restoration projects on both private and public lands.
What is at stake?
Most of the unique birds and plants of the Chatham Islands are found on private land, and some of them do not occur within the 6500 ha of Crown-owned reserves. Many Chatham Island landowners have recognised the key role they can play in protecting the islands' heritage. As of late 2008, nearly 3000 ha of privately-owned land had been protected by fencing, often as part of covenant agreements.
But fencing out farm stock is just the start. To ensure healthy plant communities requires control of feral stock, possums, and encroaching weeds, and also planting of species that were previously present. And restoring native Chatham Island birds can only occur if predators (including feral cats and rats) are controlled or excluded.
Many Chatham Island birds and plants have responded well to conservation management, but much more can be done to restore them to sites accessible to all.
How can I help?
You can help the trust get on its feet by subscribing or making a donation.