New Zealand’s rich and diverse natural heritage is in serious decline. Many of our native species, including the iconic kiwi, continue to reduce in numbers and New Zealand now has the highest proportion of threatened species in the world.
Through Shell’s support of Wildbase at Massey University we are helping to reverse this trend. For more than 10 years Shell has supported Wildbase to provide medical and surgical care and rehabilitation to sick and injured native animals so they can be returned to the wild.
The Wildbase team has achieved some amazing results :
- In 2001 only 25% of kiwi treated recovered to full health. Thanks to the work of Wildbase, this number has now risen to 80%.
- The Wildbase team demonstrated their expertise to the world during the Rena spill in 2011. Treating over 400 oiled seabirds, they achieved a 95% success rate for the rehabilitation of little blue penguins affected by this spill. This achievement is largely due to the refinement of techniques that Wildbase developed through their hospital activities.
- In 2012 the Wildbase team identified that the harnesses used to attach radio transmitters to takahē were causing long term damage to the wings. The Wildbase team worked with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to adjust the type and weight of transmitters to prevent damage to this critically endangered species.
- Wildbase team members have been working with seabird scientists to develop improved diets that are used for the translocation of endangered seabird species to establish new colonies of birds. The diets are an essential component of the success of these programmes and the improvements made are resulting in better survival rates and more effective conservation programmes for seabird conservation in New Zealand and around the world.
New Wildbase Hospital
In 2012, Shell increased its funding to help build a new Wildbase hospital. The expansion of the hospital will enable a larger number of patients to be treated, and radically improve the care and subsequent survival rate of Wildbase patients.