Battle for the Banded Rail is focused on restoring thriving birdlife to Waimea Estuary by trapping introduced predators and restoring habitat around the estuary margin.
The Waimea Inlet is the largest enclosed inlet in the South Island and is a significant site for many coastal birds including the bar-tailed godwit, white heron, royal spoonbill, little egret, Australasian bittern, and banded rail. It is also home to rare and threatened plants including the coastal peppercress and grey salt bush. The estuary is degraded and the margins have been heavily modified by human activity.
The project now has over 50km of predator control around the estuary, with a network of more than 600 traps. Traps were first established in on the western side of the estuary in 2015. Over time, the aim is to have trapping around the whole estuary. In 2018 new trap lines will be established on the Nelson side of the estuary.
Providing good habitat where birds can feed and nest is also a high priority. Local communities and school groups have planted thousands of plants in key sites around the estuary.
Battle for the Banded Rail is built on thousands of hours of work contributed by surrounding communities. In 2017 over 250 volunteers contributed more than 1500 hours of time - checking trap lines, planting, weeding and more.