New Zealand’s nature is what makes us special. Over 80% of New Zealand’s wildlife is found nowhere else on earth. Much of this occurs in National Parks and public conservation land away from people. Yet 86% of New Zealander’s live in urban areas.
Urban Wildlife Trust is a not for profit organisation connecting people with urban wildlife through citizen science, technology & social media. Our aim is to help restore, sustain and enhance the mauri of urban nature, and ensure native wildlife is an integral part of people’s daily life.
Our mission is to deliver projects, innovation and advice to support the restoration and celebration of indigenous wildlife in towns and cities.
Nature is central to creating livable cities and cities play an important role in supporting nature.
We are proud to be part of a community sharing the kaupapa of the significance of indigenous urban nature, and kaitiakitanga of native wildlife.
Urban Wildlife Connections
Current and upcoming Urban Wildlife Projects for 2021
Big thanks to our 2020 Great Kererū Count donors
Nelson City Council
“Nelson City Council’s Nelson Nature programme is delighted to support the Great Kererū Count. Every year we see more people becoming engaged with nature through the Great Kereru Count, and we really value the way the count supports community efforts to protect habitat and control predators.”
Dunedin City Council
“It’s fun to count our kererū and see our community inspired to protect them. It’s all part of having a healthy environment we care about.”
Wellington City Council
“Wellington City Council is proud to be supporting this citizen science project dedicated to gathering vital data to help protect kererū”
Urban Wildlife Team
Stephen loves the fact that tūī, kererū and kākā (three charismatic birds) serenade him on the way to work, eating stir fried noodles from Jasmine Thai, and ecological restoration.
Amber is passionate about connecting people with nature, mainstreaming biodiversity, and delivering conservation through community action.
While working at Wellington City Council, Amber developed and lead a programme positioning Wellington’s urban nature as a competitive advantage, established strategic partners, and ensured that the contribution of nature to quality-of-life was front and centre of the Wellington Story. Strategic initiatives as part of this project included showcase projects (Two Million Trees, Blue Belt, Project Halo, Smart Capital Energy), Water Sensitive Urban Design Guide, foundational membership of the International Biophilic Cities programme, and an urban ecology research partnership with Victoria University of Wellington.
Amber’s leadership across environmental initiatives has led her to national roles in policy development at the Ministry for the Environment, and science and biodiversity strategic leadership at the Department of Conservation.
Since 2013 Tony has been delivering the annual Great Kererū Count, New Zealand’s biggest citizen science project, and he runs Kererū Discovery, a non-profit conservation project set up to help with the protection and education for one of New Zealand's most important endemic birds.
Tony lives with his wife Amber and their son Jesse in Akatarawa, just north of Wellington City.
Originally from Tauranga, he has lived in Wellington for over 25 years, and in the last 10 years has become a self-confessed bird nerd…and don’t even get him started on kererū which is his favourite bird and which, over many years of careful observation he has become an expert in.
She is a self-proclaimed generalist, working across plant, bird, lizard, fish and invertebrate species. She formed the first Council ‘Urban Ecology’ team and has worked across a range of urban wildlife issues. Myfanwy wrote the award-winning Wellington biodiversity strategy - ‘Our Natural Capital’, which a range of innovative programmes sits under. These include investigating metabolic bone disease in kākā chicks, increasing recognition for our urban lizard population, developing Wellington’s cat policy, establishing a dedicated research grant for studying urban wildlife, developing consistent freshwater monitoring protocols and working on Predator Free Wellington. She shares these stories around the country, presenting on the challenges faced by urban wildlife.
Myfanwy is currently the Open Space and Parks Manager at Wellington City Council, continuing to ensure that we weave biodiversity through the city’s DNA.
Edith has been working in the property industry for 16 years and is currently with a Wellington commercial property firm as their General Manager.
Outside of work, she is on the Property Council’s National Committee for Diversity and Inclusion and on the board of the Wellington Women’s House.
Edith was born in Germany and grew up in a small town in the Eastern part of the country. She immigrated to NZ in 2001 and her family made a conscious decision about staying and living in New Zealand and Wellington in particular. She loves how connected the CBD is to the surrounding suburbs and the green spaces which allows convenient access to mountain biking and walking and she loves how the city welcomes and celebrates cultural diversity.
In his spare time, Matt coordinates a small group of volunteers to look after a local Reserve. He also loves mountain biking and spending time with his wife and fellow trustee Edith and son Carl. Matt is currently Director at Urban Nature Services Ltd.
At Victoria University of Wellington, Kelly developed and implemented a new masters programme in ecological restoration, and her interest in supporting post-graduate education led to her present position as Scholarships Manager at the University of Waikato.
Kelly’s commitment to environmental initiatives led to roles such as an invited international member of the Biophilic Cities Steering Committee. Kelly has served as associate scientific editor for the Journal of the Royal Society of NZ and NZ Journal of Ecology and has been an advisor to conservation organisations including the IUCN Redlist, ZEALANDIA, and NZ Department of Conservation.