The Treasure Islands Story
Above: Brian Shields and 'Tui', Jeff Cook, Mayor Len Brown,
and Fin Buchanan with 'Pai' at a celebration of the Treasure
Treasure islands is a conservation campaign run jointly by the
Department of Conservation (DOC) and Auckland Council (AC).
Our joint effort is to ensure our beautiful gulf islands remain
pest-free, enabling native wildlife to live peacefully and
flourish, for all of us to enjoy.
In the photo above you will notice the specially trained
pest-detection dogs. These fantastic little animals can detect
pests like rodents, stoats, feral cats, hedgehogs etc. Auckland
Council's Brian Shields (on the left) has the ONLY dog in the world
trained to locate Argentine ants - his name is 'Rhys Jones'. 'Tui'
shown here with Brian, is a rodent-detection dog.
The campaign traces its roots to early pest-free work done in the
1990s by DOC and the Auckland Regional Council (ARC), to protect
the Hauraki Gulf from a range of predators.
It became obvious a joint venture was required to achieve mutual
aims - with both parties acknowledging the Gulf's precious
treasures or "taonga".
The campaign is funded by the New Zealand public through rates
and taxes, and officially comes under legislation governing DOC's
Island Biosecurity Plan and the Biosecurity Act 1993, the Auckland
Regional Pest Management Strategy and the Hauraki Gulf Controlled
Area for the Auckland Council.