Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund Local Grants Programme 

Saving Wellington and the Chatham Islands’ Wildlife and Wild Places


Conservation is at the heart of everything we do at Wellington Zoo. Thanks to the support of our community and Zoo visitors that contribute to the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund, we are offering a local conservation grants programme.

These grants will provide funding for projects or programmes with clear community conservation value for native wildlife and wild places. We want to support projects in our wider community and invite applications from the Greater Wellington Region and the Chatham Islands (part of our local Rongotai electorate).

Wellington Zoo local conservation grants are currently closed for applications. If you want to be informed when they re-open, please follow us on Facebooksign up to newsletter, or check here for details in 2021.

Thank you to our community and Zoo visitors that have made the conservation grants programme possible.


Successful applicants for 2019/2020:


New management tools for small scale lizard conservation (Kāpiti)

This project is trialling two novel techniques for the control of mice in lizard conservation areas. If successful, it could give a better alternative to the use of brodifacoum.


Ex situ conservation of Dactylanthus taylorii (Wellington)

Dactylanthus is a unique endemic New Zealand plant that is bat-pollinated, and now limited to only 5% of its former range. This project is supporting the establishment of seed banking (conventional and cryobanking) and living collections for this species. It could enable the future reintroduction of Dactylanthus to Wellington.


Kōhanga o Porokapa 2020 (Wellington)

This grant supports a project to increase the area under restoration at Mākara Peak, particularly with podocarps. The project has excellent local support along with an exciting vision of supplying podocarp seeds to other projects and having more Korimako in the Outer Town Belt.


Trialling the world’s first “no-dig” live capture trap for lizards (Wellington)

There’s a need for improved technology for the capture and survey of lizards, and this innovative project is supporting field trials of a novel “no-dig” trap for lizards. The trap aims to be more effective and versatile than current options. One of the field trial sites will be Matiu Somes Island. Auckland Zoo is also supporting the initiative.


Monitoring prevalence and distribution of P. oppidanus (Wellington)

This project supports survey work of our Critically Endangered Wellington snail, P. oppidanus, by voluntary group TAHER (Te Ahumairangi Hill Ecological Restoration). The Zoo has had other engagement with the group on this work too.


Chatham Island Tāiko Conservation (Chatham Islands)

The tracking of juvenile and adult Tāiko from the Chatham Islands, enabled by this project, could help us to understand how this species is affected by climate change and its fisheries interactions. In the past, the Zoo treated the first Chatham Island Tāiko to be transported to the mainland in The Nest Te Kōhanga. This bird has since successfully bred and produced four chicks.