We’re proud to be involved in our community - inspiring conservation based learning and supporting projects in Tāmaki Makaurau that establish safe habitats for native wildlife to thrive.

We achieve this through our dedicated plant and animal pest control in Aotearoa and the Pacific, our monitoring and restoration work, our vital education and outreach programmes that inspire the next generation to care for native wildlife, and on site at Auckland Zoo where we encourage Aucklanders of all ages to protect the taonga on their doorstep.

Learn more about what we do – and how you can join in!

Urban Ark – Manawa Taiao

Would you like to see an abundance of native wildlife and plants right on your doorstep? Visit the Urban Ark – Manawa Taiao website to join a local group working to improve biodiversity in your community or take action in your backyard. Get involved in hands-on activities that promote and restore natural ecosystems such as weeding, planting and learning how to humanely trap introduced pest species.

Urban Ark – Manawa Taiao is the collaborative efforts of over a dozen environmental community groups and organisations, including Forest and Bird and Auckland Zoo, working together with the vision of an ecologically connected urban landscape and engaged communities that provide healthy habitats where native wildlife can thrive. This Charitable Trust operates in the inner-west area of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Community Conservation Groups

About a third of the Zoo’s 17 hectare site is regenerating native bush, and ongoing work by staff and volunteers controls animal and plant pests to low levels. The Zoo’s overarching mission is to bring people together to build a future for wildlife, and by engaging our visitors and community, and inspiring them to take action that will make a difference, it has an important role to play in helping to achieve a Pest Free Auckland, where indigenous flora and fauna can thrive. Contact Sian Buley for more information.

This local branch of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, a registered charity set up in 1923. The Central Auckland Branch organizes conservation activities and events involving Forest and Bird members in the former Auckland City Council area of Central Auckland. The co-chairs of Auckland Central Branch are Gowan Robertson and Natasha Fairley. A summary of Branch activities and contacts is available on the Forest and Bird website.

Branch projects in the Inner West area include a new initiative to coordinate community volunteers in the weeding, maintenance and further restoration planting of the bush area between the Bullock Track and the Western Springs Stadium. This project is coordinated by Central Auckland Branch committee member, Natasha Hamilton.

This group has been actively engaged in the ecological restoration of Maungawhau/Mt Eden for over 15 years. Their activities include weeding, planting, nursery work, track maintenance and rat trapping – mainly on the western and southern slopes, but often further afield. They work closely with Auckland Council's Tūpuna Maunga team and contractors. Volunteers meet every Tuesday morning. If you would like to join on a casual or regular basis, please contact volunteer coordinator Jean Barton.

This group has been working to protect and restore the ecological health of Te Auaunga and its surrounding environment since 2004.  They co-ordinate a range of hands-on conservation activities involving volunteers from the local community, educational institutions and community organisations.  

Their key activities include: native plant propagation, tree planting, weed control, native and pest fauna monitoring, animal pest control, water quality monitoring, together with community outreach and advocacy. If you are interested in joining our group, contact Wendy John or via their Facebook page.

During 2014 and 2015, a group of Westmere residents weeded and planted either end of Lemington Reserve, with support from the Auckland Council. They now weed the area, and do pest control – rats and possums – in the reserve. They also work closely with the newly-formed Predator Free Westmere.

The group is now looking at how to expand its work into the newly-formed Weona-Westmere Coastal Walkway, which needs weeding, planning and pest control. If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Stephen Knight-Lenihan on 027 449 3646.

Founded in 2017 with a desire to help native ecosystems to thrive on Ōwairaka, Mt Albert, Pest Free Ōwairaka now coordinates pest control on the domain and provides traps to some 2,000,000 m2 of neighbourhood properties. Their focus encompasses both flora and fauna and support Tūpuna Maunga Authority run community events planting native plants around the crater.

Their vision is that the Maunga in Auckland should be safe stepping stones for birds flying between the Waitakere Ranges and pest-free islands in the Gulf. Further information is found on the Owairaka website.

This local group aims to rid Grey Lynn of pests like rats and stoats that are destroying our native bird and plant life.  PFGL also works with Auckland Council to regularly bait and check traps in Grey Lynn Park.  To ramp up our efforts we need locals to start trapping in their back yards.  If interested please get in touch via email or their Facebook page for news of upcoming events.

This group has been active since May 2017. It started out as a street based Eco-neighbourhood group, and expanded when a Predator Free Kiwibank grant was awarded to the group. There is currently an active coordinating group of 8 people. In a short time they have gone from 20 traps in the area to 60+. The first phase was launched in June 2018 and a second phase launched in November 2018. This will be the Morningside area south of New North Road. It is easy for people to register their catches by clicking on an email link, and one of our members inputs the data. The email group receive regular updates, as well as the Facebook page and Bring Back the Birds website

Associated with the group is a small weedbusters group who are interested in clearing pest plants from Fowlds Park. This branch of activity needs more volunteers and if you are interested in this or in having a trap in your backyard they would be thrilled to hear from you. For more information, please email or get in touch via their Facebook page. 

This group was set up in late 2017, with the aim of getting local residents to start trapping rats in their backyards, with support from a Predator Free Kiwibank grant. Managed by Kelmarna Community Gardens, we have initially targeted approximately 120 households close to Hukanui Reserve and Bayfield Park, which includes native vegetation buffering Coxs Creek, as well as deploying traps around our site at Kelmarna.

They intend to extend our trapping area to include properties on the southern side of West End Road, all of which connect with a large area of native bush. For more information, please email Nick Goldwater or search for ‘Predator Free Ponsonby’ on Facebook.

Since 2012, a group of Pt Chevalier residents has been trapping for rats, stoats and possums in Eric Armishaw Reserve. The group is the eastern chapter of Forest and Bird Motu Manawa Restoration Group (FBMMRG), which is very active around the fringes of Motu Manawa (Pollen Island Marine Reserve).

In that time they have rid the area of over 500 rats while Conservation Volunteers are doing weeding and native planting. They plan to expand into a suburb-wide group working with schools, local residents, businesses, Auckland Council and other volunteer groups to create at predator-free Pt Chevalier. If you are interested in helping, email Paul Whitfield or contact the group via their Facebook page. 

This group was established early in 2018. They are now a Predator Free Community funded by Kiwibank in coordination with Predator Free New Zealand Trust. They support Predator Free New Zealand’s ambitious goal - Predator Free 2050 - to rid New Zealand of possums, rats & stoats - the most damaging introduced predators that threaten our nation’s natural taonga, our economy and our primary sector.

Their immediate goal is to get a trap in every fifth back yard in Westmere and are well on our way with over 50 sites established to date. You can email Cameron Lord or get in touch via their Facebook or Neighbourly page.

Since 2005. STEPS’ main objective is to protect and enhance Waititiko Meola Creek, Roy Clements Treeway, local reserves, and the underlying aquifer. Waititiko-Meola Creek has the largest catchment on the isthmus, including the suburbs of Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Balmoral, Sandringham and Point Chevalier.

Their main activities include restoration planting, weeding, water quality monitoring and water quality advocacy. If you would like to join or support this group please get in touch via the STEPS website.

This group has started waging the war on pests on the sunny northern slopes between the Kingsland shops and the Northwestern motorway. Earlier this year they spent an afternoon building tunnels and now have 12 traps out in the neighbourhood.

They are keen to have more and would love to hear from anyone who would like to have a trap, be a block coordinator or get involved with getting rid of pest plants in this area. If you’re interested please contact Rachel Fanshawe or get in touch via their Facebook page. 

This group was set up in 2018 to tidy up the land adjacent to Oakley Creek which loops past their properties. They have done their first round of planting and have 3 possum traps and 7 rat traps which they have recruited various neighbours along Methuen Road to manage. If you would like to be involved in this area or nearby, contact Jane Keats

Our Pest Management Co-ordinator Siȃn Buley, was interviewed by Ponsonby News to discuss our pest control efforts both at Auckland Zoo and in our local community. 

"Auckland is known to be one of the most progressive zoos, and one of the few with a full time pest management role. The team also recently employed a second staff member to enable their expertise to have an impact outside the fence."

"We do have an amazing zoo right at our back door, whose dedicated staff work hard to create realistic habitats for its animals, and protect native wildlife. The zoo’s pest management programme concentrates quite intensively on rats. They need to be controlled to very low levels due to predation and disease risk and competition for animal food." - John Elliott. 

You can read the full Ponsonby News article here.

The skills our field conservation and pest control teams enact for wildlife go beyond Aotearoa shores, they’re working with our South Pacific community to save Samoa’s national bird, the manumea. Forming part of our wider field conservation strategy, this three year project in partnership with the Samoa Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Samoa Conservation Society was created to assist Samoa in their goal to boost the populations of their native reptiles, plants, birds and save their national bird - the critically endangered manumea. One of the ways we are doing this is by helping to control the rampant rat population that predates on these vulnerable bird species.

Learn more by watching our three-part series with Auckland Zoo Pest Management Co-ordinator Siȃn as she arrives in Upolu, Samoa to share her expertise where it counts, in Malololelei reserve. 


Education & Outreach

We're helping to educate the next generation about wildlife and wild places, including our outreach programme that welcomes school classes on conservation-based field trips to Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary

Learn more >


Learn about our outreach education sessions!

Zoo educator Frazer discusses our conservation education programme and what kiwi kids get to experience in beautiful Tāwharanui

Our New Zealand precinct, Te Wao Nui is home to precious native species such as the endangered kea, orange-fronted kākāriki, kererū (wood pigeon), tĪeke (saddleback) and kākā. In The Night section you can find ruru (morepork) and New Zealand's national icon, the kiwi.

Learn more about these endemic animals and what makes them so special by visiting our dedicated animal pages below.