Real Journeys has partnered with the Department of Conservation on the Cooper Island Restoration Project. The project aims to bring birdsong back to the third largest island in Dusky Sound, Fiordland, by removing the predators that have decimated native birds. Cooper Island is located in one of the most inaccessible parts of New Zealand, and its rugged terrain makes it inhospitable. Predator control has never been attempted there before.
Success of the project relies on engagement of the public, staff and customers. Real Journeys takes small groups of passengers on multi-day trips to Dusky Sound during winter. It posts updates on the project through media, website, pamphlets, newsletters and word of mouth. Its nature guides have the opportunity to check and set traps on the island. Real Journeys provides funds for the project and ongoing maintenance work has been built into the cost of each Discovery Expedition ticket.
Since the programme began, 300 stoat traps have been installed. This has already had a noticeable effect on birdlife on Cooper Island.