Otapahi, Otago Peninsula
Otapahi, purchased by the Trust in 1997 when it had 7 yellow-eyed penguin nests, is not open to the public in order to minimise human disturbance. In 2011 it was home to an estimated total of 23 yellow-eyed penguin nests.
Revegetation work to improve the quality of the penguin nesting habitat has been undertaken since the purchase. Between 1998 and 2000, an average of 1,800 trees and shrubs were planted annually. This number increased to 2,500 in 2007. Funded by the Department of Conservation Biodiversity Condition Fund, the plants were grown in the Trust’s Nursery.
Trees and shrubs are protected with netting cages and maintained with herbicide spray for a minimum of three years. By this time, they are usually able to out compete the exotic pasture grasses, which are the main obstacle to success for many restoration projects.
Trapping, undertaken year round in the reserve and on neighbouring farmland, seems to have benefited the titi/muttonbird, which has established a small colony in an area adjacent to the reserve.