Mudfish find new home in Rangiriri project

21 September 2015
Mudfish find new home in Rangiriri project

Creating a new habitat for a colony of rare black mudfish was one of the first stages Natural Habitats undertook when it started work on the Rangiriri section of the Waikato Expressway in July 2014.

Normally found living in wetlands and swamps, a large population of the fresh water fish was found living in a drain that was in the path of the Expressway. With their normal habitat steadily declining as swamps are drained for farming, these fish were captured and moved to special tanks at Waikato University while Natural Habitats created a new home for them, says Natural Habitats’ project manager Michael Pritchard

“We’ve carefully created a new habitat that measures approximately 500 square metres, and includes native plants and a winding stream channel, surrounded by shallower wetland areas – and I’m happy to confirm that the mudfish are thriving in their new home!” explains Mike.

Working closely with landscape designers, Boffa Miskell and Fletcher Construction, Natural Habitats was able to produce a cost effective planting solution within a tight budget.

By the time the Expressway is completed in late 2016, Natural Habitats will have worked on 120,000 m2 of planting area as well as 10,000 m3 of mulch and 20,000m2 of coconut fibre matting in new and existing wetlands, on embankments, interchange roundabouts and auxiliary roads.

Creating employment for this large project has been a partnership with both local Iwi, Ngaa Muka, and the Department of Social Welfare with training of around 10 staff from local Iwi for the 2016 planting season.