Volunteer News 5th December

Robin on Auckland City Walk

Photo Jacqui Geux

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest events and forthcoming sessions

2. Whitehead/pōpokotea survey 2017

3. Robin video

4. Myrtle rust

5. Trapper needed

6. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!


ARK IN THE PARK Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Physical address: Cascades Ranger Station

Falls Road, Waitākere

PO Box 95194, Swanson, Auckland 0653

09 810 7014

1. Latest events and forthcoming sessions

It has been a very busy week at the Ark: on Thursday, 17 Ark people helped install 43 Goodnature traps provided by Squawk Squad. The remaining 17 traps (which arrived later) were installed by Squawk Squad people a few days later. The traps are in action and are recording catches, meanwhile Squawk Squad are finalizing the last technical details so that the catches can be relayed to their app. We are all waiting eagerly to get the first catch reports!

This was followed by the second full-on volunteer session in a row on Saturday, where 25 people, including a group of line owners, were buzzing actively around the Ark store getting ready to bait their lines and then later, around the BBQ, sharing their stories from the day. This is not to mention the other line owners and trappers, who wisely came outside these busy hours over the weekend!

Thank you to all of you for your help and enthusiasm.

This week there will be a volunteer session, on Thursday the 7th of December. We will bait in the T and R blocks. Meeting time is 8:30am at the ranger station.

There won't be a volunteer session on Saturday, the 9th of December, as it is our end of year BBQ! As a reminder, we will start with a trapping refresher from 11am and the BBQ will start around 12pm. The day will be an opportunity to see our latest cat traps, learn useful tips and be able to ask any questions you may have, as well as catch up socially!

Please let me know if you are coming to the Thursday 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 rather than email me.

Welcome to William Elliot, Antonia Gerlach, Mike Herbert, Carl Wong, Katie Logan, Alessandro Marin, Joshua Power, Mohamed Rushdi who joined the Ark in November.

Also the Ark is very pleased to have two interns at the moment: we welcome Hayley Roos from Auckland and Lena Hartmann from Germany. Hayley will stay with us until the end of February and Lena until the end of January. In two weeks, they will be joined by a third student, Nicolas Poncini from France. Three students at the same time is almost a record!

And to finish, thank you to our sausage cooks: Kay Wight and Rosemary Stagg for taking care of the BBQ after the weekend sessions in November.

2. Whitehead/pōpokotea survey 2017

Ark volunteer Jacqui Geux has now completed this year’s survey.

Three whiteheads were found: one male on Long Road and a male and female at Arataki Visitor’s Centre. Whitehead have also been reported by trappers in the Ark’s K block.

Its has been a late start to the breeding season for other birds so there is a possibility that whitehead fledglings will be found in the coming weeks.

The image below shows the sites that Jacqui surveyed. There are 19 in total, with a total of 90km walked!

3. Robin video

Jacqui Geux took this lovely short video of an unbanded toutouwai at the Ark:


4. Myrtle rust

An app has been developed which allows people to record both checks of plants as well as any incidences of myrtle rust being found.

You can find the app here: http://naturewatch.org.nz/blog/12843-myrtle-rust-reporter

Ramarama (Lophomyrtus bullata) is proving to be very susceptible to myrtle rust. The image below shows an infected ramarama plant. As you will see the characteristic yellow rust is not always very prominent so it pays to be alert for any unusual looking lesions or marks on leaves. If you see anything you suspect could be myrtle rust, do not touch it, call MPI on 0800 80 99 66 as soon as you are able to.

Meanwhile in areas where myrtle rust has been found, various containment and treatment options are being used. There are sprays that are both protective and curative.

5. Trapper needed

Gleeson trap line is short of one trapper. There is a vacancy for someone to check this line on the fourth weekend of the month.

The line passes through nice bush on an historic track, going downhill from Scenic Drive to the Waitākere reservoir, and then back to the road again. It has 14 Doc200s and a cat trap with a possum trap.

Please contact us on nature.project@forestandbird.org.nz or on 09 810 7014 if you are interested or have any questions.

6. Ark session calendar

Thursday 7th December, volunteer session 8:30am: baiting T & R blocks

Saturday 9th December: trapper refresher and end of year BBQ (no volunteer session)

Thursday 14th December, volunteer session: seed collection with Southern Cross

Saturday 16th December, volunteer session 8:30am: baiting

Thursday 21st December, volunteer session 8:30am: baiting - last session of 2017

22nd December - 8th January: Ark Christmas break

Tuesday 9th January 2018: Ark activities resume.

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