Endangered native mussels (Kākahi) continue to thrive


We recently caught up with the Fonterra sharemilker Nigel Gardiner whose on-farm sustainability work led to the discovery of endangered native mussels, or Kākahi, two years ago.

We wanted to find out how the mussels are and what he’s been doing on his farm.

“I’m happy to report the mussels are still thriving in the stream and I’ve been continuing work on farm to reduce our environmental foot print,” says Nigel.

He has also been exploring options to create some habitat for other native plant species and is currently performing a feasibility study to see if he can construct a wetland on his farm for native wading birds to live such as Pied Stilt and Heron, or alternatively a dryland habitat.

As well as this, he has also been working with a local ecologist to see what lizard species there are in the area, as he has seen plenty of common skinks and less common native geckos on his farm.

“As custodians of the land it’s up to us to leave it in a better state than we found it. There’s no overnight solution but it’s important that we keep chipping away, ultimately we’re adding value to the farm,” says Nigel.