How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?
In 2020 Tara Iti Golf Club (partnered with owners and The Shorebirds Trust) made a bold move to establish the property as an ecological sanctuary. With plenty of wilderness on the course and around the property, the opportunity to play a significant role in conservation is very real.
At Tara Iti we set up mammal pest control across the 616ha property to make safe habitat for wildlife. We are now working with the surrounding community to get them involved in pest control for conservation, with stage one complete - creating another 900ha of safe habitat. The final aim is to have around 5,500ha under control.
Threatened wildlife is managed and monitored across the property. One great example is our NZ dotterel monitoring program. Each year the threatened NZ dotterel nest in the sandy bunkers on the course at Tara Iti. The greens keeping team, caddies, members and the staff all play a role in protecting the species by reporting nests encountered on the course. Nests are then roped off and monitored for successful breeding for the rest of the season by our dedicated conservation manager.
How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?
The sanctuary concept has been implemented through best practice pest control, biodiversity monitoring, and ensuring we share conservation milestones with staff, members and the wider community to keep them engaged. Keeping staff and members engaged means they can develop a sense of responsibility and pride for conservation at Tara iti. The outcomes include an increasing visibility of native wildlife for all who visit Tara iti, and this also helps raise the profile of the club.
Membership have also been supportive through our fund-raising efforts as well at volunteering to count birds and assist with trapping and predator control on property or with their residences.