Volunteer News 12th March

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. Trap catch data

3. Kōkako census report 2018

4. For your calendar: upcoming night walk

5. Past Kauri dieback talk now online

6. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!


ARK IN THE PARK volunteer coordinator

Physical address: Cascades Ranger Station

Falls Road, Waitākere

PO Box 95194, Swanson, Auckland 0653

09 810 7014

1. Latest events and forthcoming sessions

With summer comes the wasp season, with nests often at ground level in cavities. Wasp nests pose a risk to volunteers. These nests will eventually die when colder and wetter weather returns.

Meanwhile we are taking advantage of this forced break from baiting to attend to some other useful field work. We have removed a trap line which is now permanently closed due to being within a protected kauri area, and we have reallocated the removed traps to a new trap line in the vicinity. We have also been doing line maintenance on some access lines which are quite overgrown.

On Thursday, the 14th of March, we will carry on with line maintenance. Meeting time is 8:30am at the ranger station. On Saturday, the 16th of March, we will have a war on weeds along Cutty Grass track. Gladiolus undulatus and Aristea ecklonii are commonly found along this track and will be our target on Saturday, these plants eventually out-compete natives. Luckily, they can be easily pulled out. So bring a trowel or a small grubbing tool if you have one and join us this Saturday!

You can find more information about these weeds on the Auckland Council website:



Please let me know if you are coming to either of these sessions. Also please note that if you make a last minute decision (after 5pm) or have an unexpected change of plans it's best that you leave a message on our phone 09 810 7014 rather than email me.

Welcome to Corianne Oldenhuis who joined the Ark in February. Also thank you to Kay Wight and Rosemary Stagg who looked after the BQQ after the Saturday sessions last month.

2. Trap catch data

Thank you to the trappers for reporting your catches in CatchIT. Below you can find the rat catches and stoat & weasel catches for February.

Rats - Stoats & weasels:

(Click on each picture to see its enlarged version)


We are currently keeping a very close eye on the rat catches to see if any sharp increase happens in the coming weeks. That would be the indicator of a possible rat explosion like in Autumn 2014 and we may then have to consider double bagging this next baiting round to help ensure that we have bait in stations for winter.

So trappers, please make sure to record your catches in CatchIT as soon as possible after you have checked your trap line so that we do not miss any information.

3. Kōkako census report 2018

You can find the latest kōkako census report here.

It is an interesting read and contains the latest sighting and territory maps.

4. For your calendar: upcoming night walk

Part of the EcoWest festival 2019, there will be a night walk held in the Ark's buffer zone, on the 13th of April, starting at 6pm.

Bookings are required. You will find more information here:


5. Past Kauri dieback talk online

For those of you that couldn’t make it to the talk at Arataki on Sunday morning, you can catch up with it online.

Dr Monica Gerth gave an engaging talk featuring videos of Phytophthora agathidicida zoospores moving with surprising speed towards roots as part of their ‘homing’ behaviour.

You can find the talk here: https://tinyurl.com/y4w2t6nh

(You don’t need a Facebook account to watch the video.)

6. Ark session calendar

Thursday 14th March, 8:30am, volunteer session: line maintenance

Saturday 16th March, 8:30am, volunteer session: weed hunting

Thursday 21st March, 8:30am, volunteer session: line maintenance

Saturday 23rd march, 8:30am, volunteer session: line maintenance

Thursday 28th March, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 30th March, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 13th April: Night Walk in Ark's buffer zone

Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. Ark in the Park Project Website. All rights reserved.