With the fence now in place the re-introduction of species is happening on an annual basis. We are now seeing Maungatautari have a halo effect on surrounding areas with many locals close to the maunga reporting an increase in sightings of native species in their own backyards. We are at the stage where we are sharing our story and inspiring both local and international visitors.
Because of its mainland situation, the creation of our ecological island required completely enclosing the perimeter of our 3,400-hectare mountain with a 47 km pest-proof fence. The fence around Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is the longest pest-proof fence in the world, measuring an enormous 47km long. This fence excludes all mammalian pests (other than mice on the main mountain), pets and livestock from getting over, under or through it. Since the completion of the pest-proof fence in 2006, several mammal species have been totally eradicated from Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. Pests that have been eradicated include hedgehogs, cats, Norway rats, ship rats, stoats, ferrets, weasels, rabbits, hares, possums, deer, pigs and goats.
Successfully fencing around a mountain had some unique challenges and required innovative solutions to ensure that the finished product met our stringent quality control standards. The fence runs through some extremely steep terrain, crosses 42 streams, and provides access via pest-proof access gates to adjoining land-owners. It has specially designed water gates allowing for the movement of water and freshwater wildlife, including fish tunnels to allow large fish to move freely past the gates.
The fence includes more than 850,000 staples, 50,000 battens, 8,500 three metre posts and 240km of high tensile wire.
An electronic surveillance system operates 24 hours per day to detect fence breaches.
The volunteer effort in maintaining just the fence and monitoring pests alone involves an average of 365 hours per month.