The Ashburton Branch of Forest & Bird has around 100 members. The branch is involved in protecting the braided rivers in the area, which are under threat from introduced plants, weeds and pests.
Special emphasis is placed on the protection of the rarest gull in the world, the black-billed gull/tarāpuka. The gulls have bred in the area since 2007, up to 10 kilometres downstream and upstream of the SH1 (main highway) bridge, literally in the middle of urban sprawl. See here for the latest report.
Ashburton F&B members post signs warning people to leave the endangered gulls alone, contract a security firm to patrol the area, and trap pest mammals.
The branch is also involved in a number of activities ranging from helping DOC manage wilding pines within the Hakatere Conservation Park to planting in the Harris Scientific Reserve. They hold a meeting once every second month and a branch outing every other month.