New Ark Baiting Round


Hello everyone,

As you may have read in a previous bulletin, we are starting our new baiting round.

Our first baiting round of 2018, the autumn round, was badly affected by both storm damage and kauri dieback. It was a slow and patchy baiting round which we completed near the end of the winter rather than the beginning of winter as usual. Because of this, the spring and summer rounds will be merged into a single round.

We have updated our kauri dieback disease management procedures to reflect the review and revision process we have been working through in recent weeks with Council. Some work with the Council is still in progress. These changes are mainly simplifications of the existing version, so if you are used to the 'old' SOP, it will be easy for you to adapt. The video and the online quiz were also modified, but people who have passed the original version won't have to take the new quiz again and your certificate will remain valid. Please take the time to read and understand the updated SOP.

This new baiting round will take into account the three identified High Value Kauri Ecosystems (HVKEs) which are no go areas. These areas are in AN, R/F and Gleeson blocks. We will bait around these HVKEs, but not within them. Scientists are working to identify the characteristics of these stands that have allowed them to remain disease free, which would be a significant learning for kauri dieback nationally. There is a hypothesis that the unusually high diversity within these areas has contributed to their healthy status, if this proves true it reinforces the importance of having diverse forests!

A lot of marking is still required to mark HVKEs, as well as other areas where kauri grow (of any health status), so it is essential that we all work with the same level of knowledge and experience of the process. This work was started during the last baiting round. Most of the main tracks and access lines have kauri zones properly identified now, but the majority of the bait lines in the northern blocks have yet to be done.

It is a work which requires a lot of attention to details and thinking, as each situation is different and while the SOP gives the wide guidelines, it has to be interpreted and adapted at the field level. Besides, it is likely that each bait line will have to be walked a couples of times before we have the kauri zones clearly identified and marked. The first stage (now) consists of walking the line, while baiting it, to identify and mark all the kauri zones. Once these are reported, some adjustments can be done and several zones might be grouped together to form a single entity. Then this will be applied on the field during the second stage, when the line is walked a second time. Also it is likely that many bait line descriptions will have to be amended to reflect how to access and exit them.

This is why, for this baiting round, line owners of the northern lines won't be asked to bait your lines as these will be done only during volunteer sessions. We encourage you to join volunteer sessions so you can get a good understanding of the process and help us with the marking if you can. Joining a session will mean you still get out baiting in the general area of your line, even if not your exact line. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more details.

To all the Ark volunteers, I would like to say thank you for your patience and understanding. Also thank you for keeping on helping us especially at times like now. We need you!

SOP document: https://tinyurl.com/yapvqgof

Short video which illustrates points described in the SOP: https://youtu.be/HRZE07qGoOo

Online quiz of 20 questions (you can re sit as many times as needed and all information is contained in the SOP): https://goo.gl/forms/EjNVx5V45n2aLgBG2

Kind regards,

Laurence

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