Volunteer News 7th August

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. Kauri management update

3. Kōkako korero Chapter 1: Results from the first week of the 2018 census

4. Treasure of the week: Kākahi - fresh water mussels

5. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!


Ark in the Park

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

1. Latest events and forthcoming sessions

Rat monitoring has been going well with several lines completed. Rat monitoring and baiting with the new-to-the-Ark toxin, Diphacinone, is underway, with the first bait station fill compete. Well done to the team of contractors who have got through the AWN block so quickly! We will keep you posted on the next fill and results as we find them out.

There will be 2 volunteer sessions this week.

Firstly, on Thursday, 9th of August starting 8.30am at the ranger station.

If the forecast is for a fine night on Thursday night a couple of people can put out rat monitoring cards. It will be line maintenance for the rest of us along the first part of the AW access line. The reward for this work will be high likelihood of hearing kōkako!

On Saturday, 11th August, there will be another session, starting at 8:30am at the ranger station. Laurence will run an induction session for new comers on this day.

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.

Remember that any Ark field worker must comply with the latest Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) around kauri and pass the Ark Safe Kauri certification quiz (see box above). Also, we suggest that you display an Ark brochure on your car's dashboard when parked on a public road while you do field work. This is to identify you to any CAN officers who are patrolling. You can find these brochures next to the intentions book in the store room.

Please note that first time volunteers don't need to take the certification quiz, however they are encouraged to read the SOP.

2. Kauri management update

Due to some role changes at Auckland Council we have a new point of contact regarding our operations around kauri. Her name is Jeanie Allport and she asked me to pass on her thanks to you all for the fantastic effort everyone has put into trialling the SOP and sticking it out through the development process!

As most of you will know we have finished the Autumn baiting round and rat monitoring will be complete soon. We will take this natural break in field activities to meet again with Jeanie and review and revise the SOP and associated procedures.

Jeanie has proposed some changes which will ease some of the current travel and time burden for volunteers.

3. Kōkako korero Chapter 1: Results from the first week of the 2018 census

The kohurangi is flowering so its kōkako census time again!

Week 1 has got things off to a great start with kōkako being seen every census day so far!

The results of week 1 are as follows:

Founder pair Frances and Zelah have been sighted in their territory near Waitākere Dam.

Either one or two pairs of unbanded birds have been found in Gleeson block. Further investigation is required to find out if this is in fact the same pair or two different pairs.

Recorder placement and analysis is also underway.

4. Treasure of the week: Kākahi - fresh water mussels

Thanks Jacqui Geux for spotting these kākahi and sending in the photo. These shells were at the edge of Waitākere Stream and were accompanied by some live ones in the stream flow. Perhaps these ones had just fed a hungry native eel.

Living up to 50 years of age, kākahi, or New Zealand Freshwater Mussel (Echyridella menziesi), are classified as 'at risk -declining'.

These mussels depend on fish to survive long term, as they attach their larvae to fish before the larvae move into sediments in waterways.

In traditional Māori use the kākahi were were eaten raw or lightly boiled, or dried in the sun for use in stews. They were also used in the feeding of motherless infants and as a medicine. The kākahi shell also had a number of uses that included cutting hair, cutting the umbilical cord of newborn children, scraping vegetables, and as rattles on kites.

More information on these interesting creatures can be found here: http://blog.forestandbird.org.nz/a-life-less-ordinary-for-native-mussels/

References: www.niwa.co.nz


5. Ark session calendar

Thursday 9th August, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 11th August, 8:30am, volunteer session - new comers welcome

14th-16th August: SONZ workshop 2018, Hamilton

16th August Forest and Bird Thursday talk: Kauri dieback, rāhui and forest closures, and whats next? 7.30pm Kelston Community Centre.

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