Volunteer News 27th October

Female tomtit sitting on her nest in a nikau frond base.

Photo Ruth Boere

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. End of year BBQ and trapping refresher

3. Trap catch graphs (rats)

4. Kōkako korero - chapter 5

5. Upcoming rat monitoring

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

Web site Facebook Flickr

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

Last Thursday we celebrated the end of the Winter baiting round with a scone party. This has been the wettest Winter we can remember, so thanks to all those who have helped!

It's now the second week of the break between our Spring and Summer baiting rounds. Again this week, there will be only a Thursday session during which we will do line maintenance. There won't be a volunteer session on Saturday.

Meeting time on Thursday, 27th of October, is 8:30am at the ranger station. Please let me know if you are coming to this session. 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.

We will resume full speed next week with the rat monitoring (see further below).

2. End of year BBQ and trapping refresher

Halloween is in a week of time and then it will be Christmas! So it's time to think about our end of year BBQ.

This year we will hold our end of year event on Saturday the 3rd of December at the Ark. There won't be a volunteer session in the morning, but there will be a trapping refresher before lunch (time to be confirmed) for those who want to brush up on their knowledge or those who want to learn more about trapping!

It will be followed by the BBQ. There will be the traditional Ark Christmas ham and sausages, but we will need your help with the salads, nibbles and deserts.

Please let us know if you can attend this event and what you would like to bring, RSVP by the 19th of November.

3. Trap catch graphs (rats)

Thank you to the trappers for sending us your catch reports and thank you to Maurice Colgan for making these graphs.

It is interesting to note that both peripheral and internal catches are tracking almost identically to those from 2015.

4. Kōkako korero - chapter 5

The walk through surveys are now complete. The team will do some follow up work at certain sites and there is also still some acoustic recorder analysis to do.

As you will read below there has been some partner reshuffling with the arrival of the newly translocated birds and the chicks fledged at the Ark reaching maturity.

We are now mid way through Spring and the kōkako are starting to quieten down in preparation for the breeding season. Its important that we keep a watch on our pairs to be alerted of nesting behaviour. Lets hope it’s a bumper season!

At the time of writing the previous chapter no Mangatutu birds had been found so it is pleasing that two Mangatutu kōkako have now been found. Gordon (YM-YB) was the first Mangatutu bird sighted this census. He was found outside the Ark on the new KOK access line. Gordon arrived as a translocated single and still appears to be single.

Kiwitea (YM-GB), the second Mangatutu bird, has paired up with unbanded bird and together they are holding a territory at the eastern end of the KOK block, with this territory extending across Remus Roe stream and out of the Ark. Last census this territory was held by an unbanded pair, perhaps Kiwitea pushed out one of the previous unbanded territory holders.

Grace (M/GW) was also sighted in the eastern end of the KOK block with a mature unbanded bird. Totara and Puke were located outside of the Ark along the Ian Wells track.

A banded pair sighted in the mid-eastern end of KOK block are presumably Pierre and Sophie, as they are in an area of territory previously held by Pierre and Sophie. Pierre was positively identified at a later date and the team will follow up to hopefully confirm the sightings of Sophie.

Areas outside the Ark that were surveyed are: 789a Scenic Drive, Browne track, Cutty Grass track from Ridge Road track to Anawhata Rd (and along Anawhata Rd), the southern part of Ian Wells track outside of Ark and the new KOK access line.

Manuka (Marty’s previous partner), Kiekie (Grace’s previous partner), Hinau and Andy (Maurice and Kowhai’s banded chicks) were not found this census. Marty and Grace were found with unbanded birds as new partners instead.

Tally so far:

9 of the 21 birds that arrived in 2015 and 2016 have been found, it was expected that not all the new arrivals would be found in the first 1 or 2 censuses. This is why the NZ Kōkako Specialist Group (formerly the Recovery group) advised that we next receive kōkako in 2019, because we need to allow at least 3 censuses to gain a thorough picture of birds and territories.

As we know from experience with Grace and Kiekie and Maurice and Kowhai’s chicks Andy and Hinau, kōkako can disappear for 2 or 3 years at a time and then reappear.

Founders to date: 19




Tahi Kaha/Aroha

Marty (+ unbanded bird)




YM/RY female in AWN

YM-RG female in CGN





Unbanded Birds: 13

4 single birds at various locations

2 pairs, one with a juvenile

Marty’s partner

Juvenile with Rata and Thurley/Aumangea

Kiwitea's partner

Grace's possible partner

5. Upcoming rat monitoring

Don't forget our upcoming rat monitoring starting next week! We will need your help.

Please note that experienced volunteers who would like to do a line in the north of the Ark could do the rat monitoring starting this weekend (if there is no rain forecast during the night between Saturday and Sunday).

Please contact me if you have any questions.

As a reminder, click on the link here to see the lines to be done.

5. Miscellaneous

The Whau River Catchment Trust is having a working bee session this weekend, 29 Oct Saturday 10am - noon. Plant releasing and Tradescantia weeding is on the programme. It's muddy, so dress accordingly!

Meeting place is the West End Rowing Club car park off Saunders Place in Rosebank. Tools and refreshments are provided.

You can turn up on the day or contact Sandra for more details on 021 295 0302.

6. Ark session calendar

Thursday 27th October, volunteer session 8:30am - line maintenance

Saturday 29th October, no volunteer session

Thursday 3rd November, volunteer session, 8:30am - rat monitoring (weather permitting)

Saturday 5th November, volunteer session 9am - rat monitoring (weather permitting)

Thursday 10th November, volunteer session, 8:30am - new baiting round if the rat monitoring is completed

Saturday 3rd December, end of year BBQ

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