Volunteer News 3rd December

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. Rat monitoring lines to be done

3. Kōkako kōrero

4. Trap line vacancies

5. New freezer needed

6. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!


ARK IN THE PARK volunteer coordinator

Physical address: Cascades Ranger Station

Falls Road, Waitākere

PO Box 95194, Swanson, Auckland 0653

09 810 7014

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

We have finished the rat monitoring for the northern part of the Ark. Thank you to all of you who helped!

Rat tracking index for the northern lines is 16% (it was 30% in July before we started the baiting round). Great work everyone!

We will do the southern lines next week, starting from the 9th December (and weather permitting). See below for more information.

This week, there will be only one volunteer session on Thursday the 5th of December, starting 8:30am at the ranger station. We will do trap line and bait line maintenance. Please note that this session is not for first time volunteers. Next induction session for new volunteers will be held early next year.

On Saturday, we will have our end of year gathering and trapping workshop, so there won't be a volunteer session.

Please let me know if you are coming to the Thursday session.

Also note that if you make a last minute decision (after 5pm) or have an unexpected change of plans it's best that you leave a message on our phone 09 810 7014 rather than email me.

Welcome to Simon Clendon & Felix Miller-Clendon, Claire Fox, David Wright, Michelle Haynes and Gary Philpott who joined the Ark in November. Also thank you to Helen & Patrick Doherty, Marilyn Burgess and Rosemary Stagg for looking after the BBQ after the Saturday sessions!

2. Rat monitoring lines to be done

LINES (per zone of Operation):


AW Diagonal (mAWdiag line): 10 black tunnels (moderate-hard)

AW loop (mAW line): 10 black tunnels + 10 white tunnels (moderate-hard)

AWN1318: 10 black tunnels between AWN13 and AWN18 (moderate hard)

CG blocks

Cutty Grass (mCG line): 20 black tunnels (hard)

If you have a preferred line you would like to deploy and collect in your own time, please contact me.

3. Kōkako kōrero

Our six monitored pairs are still playing it cool, with just one pair known to be nesting: Maurice and his unbanded partner are making their second attempt for the season. Nest watchers have observed high numbers of tui in and around the nest tree with up to seven counted at one time! The kōkako routinely chase the tui away.

The growth in our population of unbanded kōkako (those who have hatched at the Ark) shows just how much undetected nesting occurs each season, in particular there has been a significant jump in the number of unbanded birds from the 2018 to 2019 census

The nest finding and watching team are experimenting with a range of different lures in the ring of steel rat traps. These have included Nutella and fruit lollies. Still on the list to try are fish sauce and ‘Smooth’, a non toxic cinnamon flavoured lure.

4. Trap line vacancies

ASC trap line: there is an upcoming vacancy for this line from January onward. The ASC trap line is one of the long southern lines, this one is at the southwest corner of the Ark. It is a loop which runs near Anawhata Road, along Remus Roe stream, coming back along Ian Wells and Cutty Grass track. It is an area of the Ark with kōkako territories. It takes around 3 hours in deep bush to check the line.

Aio Wira trap line: there is an upcoming vacancy for this line, from March onward. It is quick and easy line (8 DOC200s), but still pretty, set along Aio Wira road. It can be walked or done by car if you are in a hurry!

And as per previous weeks:

Pukematekeo trap line: the Puke team would like the help of a third person. The line is done fortnightly and each team member would come every 6 weeks. It is a nice walk between the ranger station and the top of Pukematekeo through puriri, nīkau and kauri forest. Trappers usually retrace their steps back. It takes between 1.5 to 2 hours to check the line.

AUTC trap line: we need 2 to 4 people to look after this line. The trap line follows some parts of Rosella access line, then follows its own way within the D block and emerges on Ridge Road track. Return is along Fenceline track. It takes an average of 3 hours to check the line. This line is north of Rata access line and also passes through fernbird and kōkako territories.

If you are interested in any of these lines or have any questions, please contact nature.project@forestandbird.org.nz

5. New freezer needed

Our little freezer that houses sausages for the BBQ has reached its end of life and needs to be replaced. Dimensions are (width x high x depth): 49 x 85 x 64 cm.

If you have a spare one in good condition we would like to hear from you.

6. Ark session calendar

Thursday 5th December, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 7th December: Ark end of year gathering - no volunteer session

Thursday 12th December, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 14th December, 8:30am, volunteer session

Thursday 19th December, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 21st December, 8:30am, volunteer session - if enough people interested!

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