Volunteer News 15th May

Hebe macrocarpa - Bruce Calvert

Hebe macrocarpa next to the Ark office

Photo Bruce Calvert

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest news and forthcoming activities

2. Ark partial re-opening

3. Trap catch graphs

4. CatchIT presentation & training evening

5. 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 news and forthcoming activities

Last Thursday, we had a successful cleaning bee at the Ark office, followed by a well deserved coffee in Swanson! Thank you to the worker bees who came and helped!

Also several people have been coming regularly to help bag bait for when we resume our field activities. These busy bees also deserve a Bravo!

There won't be any field activities this week again (see below for more information about the status of activities), which means no volunteer session this Saturday.

On Thursday, the 17th May, however, we will hold a scone party for Graham Wells' departure. Graham has been a  trapper for many years and when he retired a couple of years ago, he became a full time volunteer, coming to the Ark 3 or 4 days most weeks (baiting, weeding and trapping!) and has done a few contracted field jobs for us. He and his partner Marie are moving closer to some of their family and will leave Auckland. We are sure that Graham will find another community project who will be lucky to benefit from his skills and dedication! We wish Graham and Marie all the best for their next chapter.

The scone party is at 12pm at the ranger station. Those of you who would like to come earlier in the morning, we have a few activities available: bait bagging, mowing next to the Ark headquarters and a bit of vegetation trimming. If you have the tools, please bring them! Feel free just to turn up whenever you like in the morning. You are also welcome to come around 12 just for the scones and cuppa.

On Thursday evening, the Forest & Bird's Waitākere branch will hold their annual AGM. Following the AGM, Gillian Wadams our project manager will give a presentation about the Ark, including the latest kōkako news and information about possible future translocations and the process to getting there.

Venue: Kelston Community Center, 126 Awaroa Road, Sunnyvale

Time: 7:30pm

2. Ark partial re-opening

As you know we have been working with Council staff to develop some new procedures for fieldwork and hygiene practices. Once established these procedures will be shared with other groups in the region.

One of the new requirements will be for some additional training for everyone doing field work at the Ark.

Last minute breaking news! We have negotiated to re-open the trap lines which are accessed from sealed roads at the periphery of the Ark. This will provide some protection against rats and stoats invading while we wait for the full go ahead again. We will contact the trappers affected on Wednesday.

New procedures will be tested while baiting in Gleeson block, more information to come about this shortly.

As a reminder, the Waitākere Ranges is not the only place with a Controlled Area Notice (CAN) in place, the Hunua Ranges are also partially covered by a CAN. Also you may have read in the news that Okura Bush Walkway has also been temporarily closed on the 12th May (see DOC link here) to minimise the spread of kauri dieback.

3. Trap catch graphs

Last week we used CatchIT to present the trap catches from April on maps. This week, Maurice Colgan has worked on the data to draw the graphs we are used to seeing of the rat catches within the Ark (traps within at least 100m from any Ark boundary) and the rat catches at the Ark periphery (traps between the border to 100m inside the controlled area).

Rat catches within the Ark:

Rat catches at the periphery of the Ark (click on the picture to see its enlarged version):

Numbers in both zones are at similar levels to previous years.

Also Maurice has calculated that on average the trapping programme removes approximately 9 mustelids, 6 hedgehogs, and 40 rats per month. Great work trappers and thanks Maurice for the numbers!

4. CatchIT presentation & training evening

 Rachel Fewster and her team have kindly offered to run a presentation of the project and explain how to use it during a meeting held on Thursday the 7th of June, at the Arataki Center, 7pm.

While this meeting is designed for Ark trappers, any of our volunteers are welcome to attend.

All the Ark trappers have received a login and a training document so that they can start using CatchIT and write down any questions for the team.

5. Ark session calendar

Thursday 17th May, scone party 12pm at the Ark for Graham Wells' departure

Thursday 17th May, Forest & Bird Waitākere branch AGM, Kelston Community Center, 7:30pm

Sunday 3rd June, Waitākere Golf Course fundraising event

Thursday 7th June, CatchIT presentation & training, Arataki Center, 7pm

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