Volunteer News 3rd September

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. Project manager's patch: IW and KOK blocks

3. Trap catches

4. West Auckland Local Body Elections 2019 Candidates meeting

5. Bait to bag, help 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 events and forthcoming sessions

The nice weather last week was very welcome and most of the T lines were baited during the week. Not sure that we will be as lucky with the weather this week.

All the lines planned to be done by the end of August have been baited now (P, B, C, most of AN, northern part of F and R blocks). Now we are targeting L, T, K and U blocks which we hope to complete by mid September. W, eastern Gleeson, southern R and F blocks are also open for baiting now if you own a line in these blocks.

There will be 2 volunteer session this week, on Thursday 5th and on Saturday 7th of September, both sessions starting at 8:30am at the ranger station. We will bait either in T block if it is not too wet or in L/U blocks otherwise. The Saturday session will be followed with a sausage sizzle when we come back.

Please let me know if you are coming to either of these sessions. Also please 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.

Please note that these sessions are not suitable for first time volunteers. Next induction session for first time Ark volunteers will be held on Saturday the 14th of September, 8:30am at the ranger station.

2. Project manager's patch

Baiting in KOK and IW blocks – especially important for line owners in these blocks

This October the KOK and IW blocks will be baited by contractors.

As we have explained in some previous bulletins we are using toxins alternative to brodifacoum in different blocks whenever possible, and have had some excellent results by doing this. You can remind yourself of the information here.

Last season we had disappointing results with kōkako breeding, with five out of 8 nests failing due to predation (note, this predation may have included natural predation by kahu/harriers). With the additional pressure on our native species from introduced predators due to the mast we need to take extra measures this year.

The KOK and IW blocks are the heart of the kōkako territory and breeding area at the Ark, and are next in line for toxin rotation.

There are also numerous territories around the AWS block which has been baited once by contractors with cholecalciferol, and this will be repeated soon.

We have contracted the same team who did the successful baiting in AWN block the bait the KOK and IW blocks. The reason this works better with contractors is that it requires 3 trips:

  • one to put out 250 grams of diphacinone. This targets rats and also acts as a pre-feed lure to draw in further rats, as well as possums, for the next step.
  • 10 – 14 days later another trip to put out 80 grams of cholecalciferol
  • and one trip to remove any remaining bait.

This we did not think could be managed by volunteers who we know all have busy lives and other commitments.

I have applied for additional funding to cover the cost of this work, with the result expected soon.

We apologise to line owners who may feel like they are missing out on a trip into the bush, please consider joining us either during one of the volunteer sessions, or contacting us to find out about lines in other parts of the Ark that will need baiting, for example if the owner of the line is unable to do it this time round.

Here’s hoping for a productive breeding season for all our animal species, and safe growing conditions for our plants!

Photo: Jacqui Geux

3. Trap catches

Thank you to all the trappers for regularly checking their traps and entering their catches in CatchIT.

Over the three last months (June, July, August), the 3 traps which caught the most pests are:

U3_DOC : 3 rats

SRR10_PBT : 2 possums + 1 rat

ASC11_PBT : 2 possums

and the 3 lines which have the highest catch records are:

ASC & Remus Roe : 28 catches

Lower and Upper Kauri : 13 catches

Long Road : 11 catches

Well done everybody for your hard work!

4. West Auckland Local Body Elections 2019 Candidates meeting

The Local Body elections are being held on the 12th of October both for Auckland Council’s Governing Body and the Local Boards. Waitākere Forest & Bird invites you to hear from the candidates for the Waitākere Ranges Local Board and Henderson-Massey Local Board as well as for the two Councillor positions for the Waitākere Ward.

When: Thursday 19th September, 7:30pm

Where: Kelston Community Centre, 135 Awaroa Road, the corner of Awaroa Road and Great North Road.

Non members are very welcome, including for supper afterwards. Koha appreciated to cover hall hire. For further information please contact Liz Anstey at 0274762732, lizanstey@hotmail.com


5. Bait to bag, help needed!

We have picked up 12 sacks of loose bait which are now waiting to be bagged. If you have some spare time, please come and help bag them! (5 minute training provided if needed).

6. Ark session calendar

Thursday 5th September, 8:30am, volunteer session: baiting

Saturday 7th September, 8:30am, volunteer session: baiting

Thursday 12th September, 8:30am, volunteer session: baiting

Saturday 14th September, 8:30am, volunteer session and induction session for first time volunteers

Saturday 14th September, Pestival (Pest Free Auckland)

Thursday 19th September: no volunteer session (Kōkako Specialist Group annual meeting in Rotorua)

Thursday 19th September: F&B West Auckland Local Body Election 2019 Candidates meeting, 7:30pm

Saturday 21st September, 8:30am, volunteer session: baiting

Thursday 24th September, 8:30am, volunteer session: baiting

Saturday 28th September, 8:30am, volunteer session: baitin

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