Volunteer News 13th March

Hi all,
This email contains:
1. Latest and forthcoming sessions
2. Reminder: Information evening at Arataki on Wednesday
3. Kauri survey for users of Waitākere Regional Park
4. Seeking a new Ark volunteer representative
5. Whitehead/pōpokotea news
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

Last week we had two long sessions, both held in the Nihotupu block, for baiting and line maintenance. We will have a last session in the northern part of the block this Thursday and then we will put our field activities on hold as there are signs of wasps building in numbers now. It is wise to stay out of the bush for those who react badly to wasp stings!

The next baiting round is scheduled for early April, after Easter weekend.It will be a smart baiting round, with the 200m periphery zone where the stations will be doubled-bagged. More information will come soon. Also I will send a separate email to the line owners about the baiting schedule.

There will be aThursdaysession this week, on the15th of March, starting 8:30am at the ranger station.We will open the gate at 8:30am.Please remember to bring your bolt cutter if you have one.

Therewon't be a volunteer session on Saturday, 17th of March,however, anyone keen to do some weeding can come at the usual time(8:30am at the ranger station) and we will weed and release plants in the stream nearby the ranger station.

Please let me know if you are coming to the Thursday session or the weeding.Also please note that if you make a last minute decision or have an unexpected change of plans it's best that youleave a message on our phone 09 810 7014.

2. Reminder: Information evening at Arataki on Wednesday

As we mentioned last week submissions are now open for the Council’s Long Term Plan and other plans falling under that, for example the Regional Pest Management Plan.

This is a chance to greatly increase the amount of spending on the environment and also ‘ring fence’ or safeguard funds that must then be spent on the environment.

Come along to find out what each of the options mean for conservation and for guidance on how to submit.

Wednesday 14th of March, 7pm
Arataki Visitors Centre

3. Kauri survey for users of Waitākere Regional Park

Council are seeking feedback on their Environment Committee’s proposal to close the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, with some exceptions, by 1st May 2018.

This would be a Council closure to reinforce the existing rāhui that is in place.

You can provide your views via the survey here:

The survey is open until the 19th of March.

4. Seeking a new Ark volunteer representative

As many of you know the Ark has three volunteer representatives, currently Chris Chadwick, Karen Colgan and Oliver Glampe.

These are people that you can contact if you have any questions or concerns, or anything that you would like to discuss with a fellow volunteer.

Also, these volunteer representatives arepart of the Ark management committee. The management committee is comprised of Council staff, Forest and Bird representatives (and the Ark representatives) and meets every second month, usually on a Wednesday morning.

Volunteer repsparticipate in field meetingsto help make decisions about field related activities.

As a key part of the role is having contact with volunteers the rep needs to besomeone who attends volunteer sessions, we would like this to be once per month at least. That gives 8 possible session options (4 Thursdays and 4 Saturdays).

Chris has been a rep since he was elected by volunteers in 2013. He has been a regular at Thursday sessions and as well as helping with invertebrate monitoring. His wife Rosemary is one of the Saturday sausage cooks.

Sadly, Chris and Rosemary’s daughter is seriously ill meaning that Chris will be stepping down from his volunteer rep role. We would like to thank Chris for his support, dedication and insightful thoughts over the years. Chris still finds time to come out to the Ark so you may still see his friendly face around.

There is now a vacancy for the third representative position. If you are interested in the role or would like to find out more please let us know!

5. Whitehead/pōpokotea news

Unbanded fledgling pōpokotea
(Photo Jacqui Geux)

We thought the Long Road pōpokotea family may not have bred this year, however thanks to the sharp eyes of Jason the ranger and Jacqui Geux, five birds have been spotted around their usual spot – the Long Road/Whatitiri junction.

Its thought that there are at least two fledglings, a great piece of late season breeding news!

6. Miscellaneous:Long-tailed cuckoo/koekoeā in the freezer

Whitehead feeding a juvenile long-tailed cuckoo
(photo NZ birds online)

A Henderson resident brought in a koekoeā to us that had sadly hit his window and died.

Probably not many of us have seen these rare birds so if you would like to have a look at one it is in a plastic box in freezer number 2. We will give it to the museum for taxidermy afterwards.

Koekoeā breed only in New Zealand and are reliant on laying their eggs in the nests of whitehead (in the North Island) to be raised by whitehead parents.

They often call at night with a screeching call. You can listen to a recording here:

As this specimen is a juvenile it raises the intriguing question of where it found a whitehead nest...

7. Ark session calendar

  • Thursday 15th March, 8:30am, volunteer session
  • Saturday 17th March, 8:30am, no volunteer session, weeding option.
  • Thursday 22nd March, 8:30am, volunteer session - to be confirmed
  • Saturday 24th March, 8:30am, no volunteer session
  • Thursday 29th March, 8:30am, volunteer session - to be confirmed
  • Saturday 31st March: Easter weekend, no volunteer session
  • Thursday 5th April, 8:30am,volunteer session: baiting
  • Saturday 7th April, 8:30am,volunteer session: baiting.New volunteers welcome to attend.
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