Volunteer News 4th December

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest events and forthcoming sessions - help needed with baiting

2. A message from the Ark's volunteer representatives

3. Ranger station alarm code

4. Kōkako video

5. 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

Have you passed your Safe Kauri Certification quiz?

Remember – you are required to do so before doing fieldwork

The training consists of:

1. Reading the SOP document: https://tinyurl.com/yapvqgof

2. Viewing a short video which illustrates points described in the SOP: https://youtu.be/-vRYxqs0x8Q

3. Answering an online quiz of 20 questions (you can re sit as many times as needed and all information is contained in the SOP): https://goo.gl/forms/EjNVx5V45n2aLgBG2

4. Upon correctly answering 18 out of 20 questions you will be sent a Safe Kauri Certificate

Please note that the SOP is a working document which is likely to undergo further revisions as more information becomes known.

1. Latest events and forthcoming sessions

Last week, the Ark was at the NZ Flower & Garden show, in Henderson. Our stall even won a Merit medal! Well done Annalily and Anko for the setting up the stall and to Eva Fernandez for helping with installation and attending all week! Also a big thank you to all the volunteers who represented us on the stall: Sheila Jeaffreson, Melissa Irace, Yvonne Vaneveld, Doreen Sunman, Zena, Chris Bindon, Robert Woolf and Annette Rice. They were wonderful advocates for the Ark and were kept busy with the crowd of around 30,000 visitors!

On Saturday evening, we held our end of year celebration. We had originally planned a hangi on the Golf Course near the Ark head quarters, but the weather meant we had to retreat inside to a more sheltered place. So we went to the Waitākere Domain Hall where a tasty hangi was served to us. A round of applause to Rewi Spraggon from Hangi Master! Also a big thank you to Karen Colgan, Kay Wight and Rosemary Stagg for treating us with delicious deserts.

On the field side, I had to cancel the Saturday session again because of heavy rain and strong wind. Let's hope that we'll be luckier this week!

There will be a volunteer session on Thursday the 6th and on Saturday the 8th of December, starting at 8:30am at the ranger station. Please note that the Saturday session is not suitable for new comers. The final induction session for the year will well be held on the 15th of December.

We have only 5 volunteer sessions left remaining before the Christmas break and we have a lot of ground yet to cover in this round. So please come and join a session if you can!

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.

2. A message from the Ark's volunteer representatives

Dear fellow volunteers

As your elected representatives (both as contact people and on the Ark in the Park management committee), we would like to give you some background on the events of this tumultuous year, especially as they have affected volunteers.

Most importantly you should know that all the major players in the management of the Waitākere Ranges and the response to the kauri dieback crisis are united in supporting the on-going activities of Ark in the Park, and the work it is doing in restoring both the bird life and plant life of the region.

As most of you know, ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ have been developed so that we can continue with our conservation activities while minimising any additional burden on the kauri forest. These procedures have been hammered out at many top-level meetings over this past year between various Council people, kauri dieback advisors and, on behalf of the Ark, our advocates Gillian Wadams and Laurence Bechet.

Through all this time Gillian and Laurence have continued to run the Ark whilst communicating and including these extra protocols for kauri dieback, but the closure of the Ark during a baiting round and the continuing changes working towards a better SOP have impacted on baiting and it is a testament to everyone’s perseverance and belief, that support continues for what remains the largest and most important conservation area in the Waitākere Ranges.

The result of the discussions to date has been changes to the ‘SOP’s that match the growing understanding of the scope of the problem and the best ways to respond.

In addition to the human and pig impact of foot traffic, there is growing recognition that terrain and hydrological influences are significant for the spread of the pathogen. The Ark area is to be split up into zones of operation, based on the particular environmental conditions in that zone. Conservation work within any of these areas will involve the same protocols as were proactively established years ago by the Ark: scrubbing and spraying boots at the beginning and end of bait or trap lines, at the junction of tracks, and at stream crossings. We are not to work off track in more than one zone per day and at boundary junctions on tracks boots and gear must be thoroughly cleaned.

At the conclusion of volunteer activities all gear and footwear is removed, contained and transported back to the Ark volunteer base for final complete cleaning. This ensures Ark ‘border control’ prevents any soil movement away from site.

We all hope that the boosts to funding for dieback research announced recently bear results soon. In the meanwhile, the best chance for continued regeneration of the forest via the tiny kauri seedlings and saplings, as well as the kiekie flowers and parataniwha shoots and all the verdancy of the forest you will see throughout the Ark, is that you will continue to protect them from the rats and possums that love them too.

If you have any questions, don’t forget that you elected us to represent you. Get in touch and we will get you answers.

Karen Colgan Karen@colgan.co.nz

Ken Harrop kenneth.harrop@gmail.com

Oliver Glampe oliverglampe@orcon.net.nz

3. Ranger station alarm code

The alarm code at the ranger station has been changed. Please contact Gillian or Laurence for the new code.

4. Kōkako video

Jacqui Geux made this beautiful video of the kōkako pair Francis and Zelah, which you can watch here. Also you can see more of her kōkako pictures on our Facebook page.

5. Ark session calendar

Thursday 6th December, 8:30am volunteer session: baiting

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

Thursday 13th December, 8.30am volunteer session: baiting

Saturday 15th December, 8.30am volunteer session: baiting and induction session for new volunteers

Thursday 20th December, 8.30am volunteer session: baiting - Last baiting session of the year

Friday 21st December : Ark office closes

Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. Ark in the Park Project Website. All rights reserved.