Be part of the conservation story at Canopy Tours!
Day by day our native birds and animals are reclaiming their home in the Forest all thanks to you! A portion of what you pay to come on a Canopy Tour goes directly back in to the conservation of the forest!
Back in 2012 the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve was a quiet place, that came alive at night; but not in a good way. The forest was crawling with possums and rats and unfortunately this meant that our native species we not doing very well at all.
Gary our Conservation Manager shows customers a DOC 200 stoat trap in action.
We started our trapping programme in 2013 after raising $35,000 from the zipline tours. 1100 possum and rat traps were purchased and placed out into 50ha (10% of the forest), within a couple of weeks over 800 animals were caught and the birds and insects slowly started returning to this safe area of the forest. Our conservation efforts were working!
In 2015 we decided Goodnature automated traps were the way to go and we replaced all of the old manual traps (apart from the DOC200s). This proved incredibly successful and it shows, having some amazing finds in early 2016 including a rare striped skink and more recently pacific geckos (pictured below) hanging out on our canopy platforms. We have seen such amazing success in the restoration of the forest and are super excited to see what else we are going to find in this forest the more extensive our trapping programme becomes.
Pacific Gecko spotted by one of our guides while on tour – photo credit Bryce McQuillan.
The Department of Conservation was also highly impressed with our progress and public enthusiasm for the project, and in late 2015 they came on board to help form the new Canopy Conservation Trust. The Trust is a registered charity and creates a solid platform for us to manage donations, sponsorship and partnership opportunities.
In October 2016 after months of hard work the Rotorua Canopy Tours team implemented phase three of their pest trapping programme in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. The trapping work is all done by Canopy Tours staff and this year (2017) the team are excited about completing the fourth phase of trapping which will extend to the eastern end of the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve and complete the trapping on the southern side of the railway line. Click here to read more about the trapping during phase three.
Rotorua Canopy Tours Conservation Manager and legend guide Gary Coker works with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to manage our conservation programme. Our hope is that one day soon we will have the whole forest (500ha) under pest control and will be able reintroduce some rare native birds and have safe breeding conditions to restore the eco-system to one similar to that of pre-human times.
Click here to learn more about the native birds you could see on your Canopy Tour!
There are many opportunities for individuals, businesses and schools to get involved in restoring the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. To find out more, visit the Canopy Conservation Trust website