Volunteer News 19th December

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest events and forthcoming session

2. Meet our students

3. Trap catches

4. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!

Laurence

ARK IN THE PARK Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Physical address: Cascades Ranger Station

Falls Road, Waitākere

(09) 810 7014

1. Latest events and forthcoming session

This is already the last week before the Ark office's closure for Christmas! The office will be closed between the 22nd of December until the 8th of January. We will be back on board on the 9th.

Meanwhile the Ark will still be active, as trappers and line owners will carry on their activities. Line owners will have the opportunity to get some healthy exercise during the end of year festivities and we rely on the trappers to help control the stoats, as their numbers usually build up at this time of the year (see below).

However, this break will be welcome for many of our volunteers who got involved in the recent past events.

Last week, we hosted a group from the Southern Cross, who helped with the seed collection. Due to the current rāhui in place to protect the kauri, this was likely the last seed collection until the rāhui is lifted, as seed collection involves walking mainly around the Auckland City Walk and the nearby tracks (and off track) where there are kauri. Although the information collected are useful for ecological researches, the collection is not directly linked to pest control and thus not covered by our warrant from Te Kawerau ā Maki.

The week before, Belmont Primary School (Auckland), who had won Squawk Squad Ranges challenge during the New Zealand Conservation Week, had a trip to the Ark as their winner prize. They could see a real life demo of an A24 trap fitted with the electronic node which provides real time catches information. You can see pictures of the day on our facebook page here.

On the same week, students from Rutherford college came to the Ark and baited their lines in the B block.

And a few days later, Squawk Squad launched their web app where you can see how many catches the sixty A24 installed in Pig Wallow block have caught until now. You can see the video of the web app release here and access the number of total catches in the Ark here.

Meanwhile, the newly installed Nihotupu block, south of Ian Wells track, was re baited. This block was baited for the first time at the end of the previous baiting round, approximately two months ago.

Finally, on Saturday, the students from the Auckland University Trampling Club came and baited their D lines while the volunteers of the Saturday session were baiting the nearby W block.

This high activity period will come to an end with the upcoming Thursday volunteer session, on the 21st of December. Meeting time is 8:30am at the ranger station and we will bait in the F block. We will have a shared lunch when we come back. So if you wish to stay after the session, please bring a plate!

Please let me know if you are coming on Thursday. 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.

2. Meet our students

A few weeks ago we welcomed Hayley Roos and Lena Hartmann as summer Ark students. They were joined this week by Nicolas Poncini.

Meet the team:

From left to right: Lena, Hayley and Nicolas



Lena is from Germany and is going to the University of Enschede (Netherlands). She is studying psychology and as a final part of her studies, she is conducting a field study about the motivation of the volunteers at the Ark. Lena started at the Ark at the end of November and will stay with us until the end of January.

Hayley is from New Zealand. She has finished her bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Auckland, where she studied Ecology and Conservation. She has an interest in native plants and birds and is volunteering at the Ark this summer to gain some work experience.

Nicolas is from France. He is doing a bachelor of Geography and Environmental studies in Lyon. He spent a semester at the University of Otago in Dunedin as part of his degree. He's doing an internship at the Ark to gain some field work and cultural experience. He will also help me with GIS. He has just started at the Ark and will stay until mid April.

The Ark is proud to get the help of such talented young people!

3. Ark trap catches

Thank you to the trappers for their regular catches and to Maurice Colgan for putting the data together.Rat numbers have slightly decreased since last month, although the internal ones are still a bit high for this time of the year.

Mustelids:

November: 11 stoats

December from 1st to 10th: already 8 stoats, 1 weasel

As you can see the number of stoats is currently building up, as expected at this time of the year. Unfortunately it is also the nesting time for our native birds, so trappers please make sure that the trap line rosters don't show any vacancies for the coming weeks. If you need any help, please contact me quickly so that we can find a solution.

4. Ark session calendar

Thursday 21st December, volunteer session 8:30am: baiting in F block- last session of 2017

22nd December - 8th January: Ark Christmas break

Tuesday 9th January 2018: Ark activities resume.


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