The Aparima Pestbusters is a voluntary community organisation set up by a group of Riverton residents. Before the group was formed, members of the Riverton Lions Club were responsible for much of the early development of Mores Reserve.
The group has identified and clearly defined goals to achieve its mission statement: "The Return of The Birds to the Riverton Peninsular"
Initially the Pestbusters conservation activities were focused on the capture and removal of Australian Magpies from the Riverton area, removing 6000 birds over three years. Over time and in consultation with the Southland District Council, Environment Southland, Iwi, the local Estuary Care Group, land owners and the Riverton/Aparima Community Board, the group expanded its activities to include the control of pest animals (possums, stoats and rats) pest plants and restoration planting of native trees within Mores Reserve.
Environment Southland has played a leading role in helping the group with ongoing technical advice, physical field assistance and guidance relating to funding sources and applications - ensuring a professional and coordinated approach to its activities.
Since their formation the Aparima Pestbusters have received various awards recognising their achievements. The largest single grant has come from the Pacific Development Trust, enabling the group to expand pest control efforts in Mores Reserve. Funding is a key component in the achievenment of the group's goals, not only for new projects but also for the maintenance of existing ones.
Pest animals threaten ecological values in New Zealands's parks, reserves and forest remnants. Rats can have a severe impact on New Zealand' native invertebrate, reptile and bird populations.
In an effort to eliminate these predators of native birds, The Aparima Pest Busters are maintaining some 450 poison bait stations throughout the Mores Reserve so that the return of the birds is assured.
If land-owners have problems with the aggressive magpies, traps are available without charge.
It is with a great deal of sadness that we record the recent death of Warrick McCallum. Warrick was the prime mover of the Aparima Pestbusters, and was the recipient of several awards both for his work and that of the Pestbusters.
The Pestbusters group will still continue with its aims, but until a new co-ordinator is appointed, it is suggested that contact with the group should be made through the Southcoast Environment Centre
Aparima Pestbusters operate all around Riverton however their main work is carried out in Mores Reserve in the Howells Hills between Riverton and Colac Bay.
They offer a free service to local residents to assist with the removal of pest plants from their properties.
The Aparima Pestbusters extend an invitation to members of the public may wish to join up and give their assistance in maintaining any of these projects
These are the businesses and places of interest that Aparima Pestbusters. The Return of the Birds Project supports or are happy to affiliate themselves with (shown with blue markers):
- Coastal walk to Riverton Rocks and Howell’s Point. (center the map)
- North Beach (center the map)
- The Back Beach & the Rocks 'Wetland' Oxidation Ponds Walk (center the map)
- Mores Reserve (center the map)