Volunteer News 13th December

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. Recent Ark end of year event on the 3rd of December: trapping workshop and BBQ

3. Wasp Monitoring and control programme continues in 2017

4. Kauri dieback questionnaire

5. Lost and Found

6. Miscellaneous

7. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!


ARK IN THE PARK Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Physical address: Cascades Ranger Station

Falls Road, Waitākere

(09) 810 7014

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

Two more weeks to go and it will be Christmas! The pohutukawa on the golf course are almost ready for it, their flowers taking on a bit more red each day ...

We will hold our last two volunteer sessions of the year this week, on Thursday and Saturday.

On Thursday, the 15th of December, you'll have the choice between seed collection with a group from the Southern Cross or baiting. We have done very well with our baiting sessions lately and we can start the AWS block this week. We will try to bait as many lines as possible within one session so that our native species are better protected during the Christmas break! Please note that the baiting session is scheduled for 8:30am and the group for 9am. Also remember that we'll have a scone party after the session for our overseas student's departure!

On Saturday, the 17th of December, we will finish the seed collection if some collectors are still to be emptied after Thursday (see my Thursday bulletin for confirmation) as well as carry on the baiting in AWS block. Please note that the AW blocks are physically challenging and a good level of fitness is required. There won't be any easy lines available, all the lines being on the moderate plus side of the scale. Meeting time is 8:45am at the ranger station.

Please let me know if you are coming to either of these sessions (and have not told me yet). Also please note that if you make a last minute decision or have an unexpected change of plans it's best that you leave a message on our phone 09 810 7014.

Last week someone accidentally took our gate key home with them and it is needed this Thursday. If you have it, please make sure that we get it back by Thursday morning.

2. Recent Ark end of year event on the 3rd of December: trapping workshop and BBQ

BBQ attendees, although we were late in taking this photo, so apologies to those of you who had already left:

Photo Jacqui Geux

On Saturday the 3rd of December we were pleased to have the company of so many of you at our end of year BBQ. Judging by the number of plates used it seems around 100 people attended!

Thanks to all of you for bringing such delicious food to share and special thanks to Karen and Maurice and Rosemary and Ken who cooked hams. Also to Helen and Patrick who cooked sausages on the BBQ.

Ken Harrop, our trap doctor ran a useful and entertaining workshop covering the different trap types as well as setting, unsetting and maintenance tips.

A summary of key points is available here. This document also includes links to some instructional videos.

3. Wasp Monitoring and control programme continues in 2017

The wasp control operation the Ark carried out in March this year will be repeated in 2017.

In October we held a technical advisory group meeting to review what we did in 2016 and plan for 2017. We will use the same bait in the same grid of bait stations covering 565ha of the northern Ark.

Last year we followed the monitoring technique prescribed by the manufacturer but this has since been modified for the lower wasp densities found in North Island forests. Because of this a change has been recommended for the monitoring technique. Monitoring is used to determine the right time to put out the vespex poison.

We will use traps suspended in trees with sticky bases, rather than lids on the ground. Tuna will be added to these as a non toxic lure, which will also not be attractive to bees.Traps will be left out for 48 hours and the sticky cards will need to be collected and the number of wasps counted. The monitoring traps have to be deployed in the morning and ideally all the lines deployed at the same time.

We will need to install and monitor 4 lines of 10 traps each. Traps will be 20m apart. This will be done weekly at first.

We will need your help!

We will be looking for volunteers to help from mid January onwards. Monitoring lines will be in four locations:

B ridge

P block rat monitoring line

B stream access line

Waitauri access line (for a non treatment comparison)

If you are able to help please let us know.

4. Kauri dieback questionnaire

Aranovus Research is a private and independent socio-environmental research agency working in partnership with scientists and community groups in an community-based initiative to make significant advances to address kauri dieback.

They have set up an online survey which takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Aranovus Research say your help will be very valuable to help understand the views of communities affected by kauri dieback: http://www.kauridiebacksurvey.org.nz/

5. Lost and Found

Lost: small black radio, probably somewhere on bait line F7 or F9, but possibly on the Ridge Road track.

Lost: one gaiter, on Gleeson track between bait lines G12 and G5.

Found: pair of glasses, red plastic frame, at top of Ridge Road track.

If you have found or lost one of these items, please contact us at nature.project@forestandbird.org.nz

6. Miscellaneous

We are getting short of plastic bags .... so if you have some of them in good condition, we would love to have them. No vegetable bags please as we often need to carry 20 bags of bait in them so they need to be sturdy enough!

7. Ark session calendar

Thursday 15th December, volunteer session, 8:30am - choice between baiting (8:30am) and seed collection with a group from Southern Cross (9am), all followed by scone party (Doro's departure).

Saturday 17th December, volunteer session, 8:45am - baiting, last session of 2016

Thursday 12th January, first 2017 volunteer session, 8:30am: baiting AW blocks

Saturday 14th January, volunteer session, 8:45am: baiting CG blocks

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