Back in January 2016 I posted the first part about my visits and voluntary involvement on Rotoroa Island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland (link here if you’d like to re-read). During the most recent summer, I had the pleasure and indeed privilege of returning to Rotoroa on a regular basis to help out the Trust in the day-to-day running of the island.
Volunteer jobs are never going to be glamorous of course, but helping tourists have a more special visit to this little slice of paradise, as well as doing my bit in assisting in the conservation of native species is an absolute joy. I realised that from when I set foot on the boat in the morning until returning to land in the evening, nothing else matters in the world except being part of this wonderful conservation island with a unique human history.
Apologies for the slightly lesser quality of one or two of these pictures, which were taken on an iPhone.
The islands just off the coast of New Zealand are havens for native species which stand on the brink of extinction (certainly endangerment) in many cases. They have been cleared of mammalian pests and have enabled native reptile and bird species to be introduced and have a chance.
In the Hauraki Gulf, to the East of Waiheke Island, likes a small but perfectly formed island, Rotoroa Island.
This island is held under trust and was formerly used by the Salvation Army for recovering alcoholics. Now it is being used to introduce a variety of species and Auckland Zoo is managing this.
I had the privilege of heading over there with the zoo to do some voluntary work in weeding the enclosure of the moko skinks. They need an enclosure as weka (a type of bird) wander the island and would eat them if given the chance…but removing one successful native species for another is not an option really.
I didn’t see any skinks (I guess they didn’t appreciate our being in their home) but I did see a beautiful island with a wonderful chance of success. Time will tell.