Volunteer News 24th May

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. Possum catch map

3. Ark buffer zone update

4. Getting to know your Ark volunteer representatives

5. Miscellaneous

6. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!

Laurence

ARK IN THE PARK Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Physical address: Cascades Ranger Station

Falls Road, Waitākere

(09) 810 7014

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1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

Thanks to all of you, we are making good progress with the baiting round, despite the rainy sessions which luckily didn't put everybody off! Below is the map showing our baiting progress.



During the upcoming volunteer sessions, we'll focus on Gleeson, AWN and AWS blocks. Any of the owned lines can be baited now (IW and KOK blocks). We will finish this autumn baiting round with the CGN and CGS blocks. If you are a line owner and have already baited your line but are looking for something more, we would love to have your help with baiting more lines, so that we can finish this baiting round as quickly as possible. As a reminder, kauri dieback (PTA) spreads more easily in winter, due to the rain and the wet ground (more information on the Keep Kauri Standing web site here) so please be extra careful with cleaning your boots and gear.

There will be a volunteer session this Thursday, the 25th of May, meeting at 8:30am at the ranger station. There will be another session on Saturday, the 27th of May, starting at 8:45am at the ranger station.

Please let me know if you are coming to either of these sessions. 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. Possum catch map

Thank you to Karen Colgan who made this map with all the possum catch data reported between August 2016 and May 2017 (click on the picture to see the enlarged version of the map).

As you can see, the last installed traps along Ridge Road track and Te Henga Road have proved their usefulness, with several catches. In the future we want to install more traps along Remus Roe, Nihotupu (southern boundaries) and Scenic Drive to make the grid of traps around the Ark more consistent.

3. Ark buffer zone update

The Ark is lucky to have many supportive neighbours taking part in predator control and reporting bird sightings on their properties. Some of these residents live along Scenic Drive and others are in Bethells Valley. This update focuses on the Bethells Valley properties, protecting the Waitākere River valley towards Bethells/Te Henga Wetland and out to the coast.

As many of you know, Annalily van den Broeke has a part time contract to liaise with Bethells Valley buffer zone residents and work on educational and outreach components of the Ark.

Participating properties grew to an impressive total of 65 in the past year! Activities undertaken by these residents include:

- Four ‘pulses’ of baiting

- Year round trapping for mustelids, rats and possums

- Twice per year rat monitoring,

- Once per year bird monitoring (to be increased)

In recognition of the diverse and valuable habitats found within Bethells Valley a real hub of conservation activity is emerging!

The Ark buffer zone is helping link the Ark itself with other neighbouring conservation projects including:

Habitat Te Henga

Matuku

Matuku Link

Waitākere River Care

The Petrel Project - There is also work happening on the dunes, cliffs and inshore islands at Bethells Beach with Flesh-footed shearwaters and grey faced petrels in particular benefiting. Twenty flesh-footed shearwaters fledged from 28 eggs, a great boost for this species in the Auckland region!

Upcoming Outreach work

Schools and groups are asking what they can do to help us and with the planting season almost upon us, the answer is exactly that: planting and weeding. Next month for Arbor Day we’ll talk about the Ark and the importance of protecting native plants and birds, followed by a planting session at neighbouring Matuku Link on Saturday 4th of June with Waitākere Scouts and Kiwi Conservation Club children. If you’d like to join us, please let Annalily know at info@artants.co.nz or 021-2207136 or 09-8326408.

5. Miscellaneous

Store room key

If you use the key to open the store room, remember to put it immediately back or leave it in the door for the time you are in the room. Please do not take the key inside the room otherwise it tends to get locked in and the next person is unable to get in.

Dead rats and other pests

As well as the detector dog trainers asking for stoat samples, Paul Barret [paul@butterflycreek.co.nz] from the Butterfly Creek is looking for specimens of predators that they can mount for a display opening soon. They need dead animals in good condition: Stoats, rats, possums, ferrets and weasels. Trappers, it would be much appreciated if you could bring back any catches of the species listed above which could be used for the display and put them in the freezer.

6. Ark session calendar

Thursday 25th May, volunteer session 8:30am, baiting AWN or Gleeson blocks

Saturday 27th May, volunteer session 8:45am, baiting Gleeson block

Thursday 1st June, volunteer session 8:30am, baiting

Saturday 3rd June, no volunteer session: Queen's birthday weekend

Thursday 8th June, volunteer session 8:30am, baiting

Saturday 10th June, volunteer session 8:45am, baiting

Thursday 15th June, volunteer session 8:30am, baiting

Saturday 17th June, volunteer session 8:45am, baiting

Thursday 22nd June, volunteer session 8:30am, baiting

Saturday 24th June, volunteer session 8:45am, baiting

Thursday 29th June, volunteer session 8:30am, baiting

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