Volunteer Resources

The Ark has 400 inspiring active volunteers who donate over 10,000 hours every year, to protect and restore our precious native forest. You can learn more about joining our volunteer team on the Get Involved page. This page contains information for the Ark’s volunteers and Bufferzone community.

Here you can find:

Bird Sightings

There are many birds to be seen at the Ark, some of which have been reintroduced to the Waitākere Ranges as a result of successful pest control. We monitor the populations of some species to celebrate their successes, and learn where to target pest control efforts. We encourage our Ark volunteers and neighbours to report sightings of the birds listed below, to contribute to the Ark in the Park’s biodiversity monitoring programme.

The following information will help us target our conservation efforts:

  • Date of observation
  • Name of observer
  • Number of birds
  • Whether the birds are banded
  • Description of behaviour (eg. calling to unseen bird, carrying nest material, feeding)
  • Location (eg. nearest bait station, or street address if outside Ark)
  • Any leg bands identified (left/right legs, lists of band combinations can be found below for each species)


Toutouwai Robin


Kōkako (NI)


Observation Form

Leg band combinations at the Ark

North Island Robin or toutouwai at Ark in the Park
Close up of North Island kōkako

Methods for Ark activities

To help our teams stay safe in the field and make it easier to remember all the steps of each activity, we’ve written out methods to be used at the Ark.

We’re also happy to share these with other conservation projects – if you’re involved with or know of other projects starting out please feel free to share these resources with them, and if you’d like an editable copy to adapt for another project, get in touch with the team! Please note: these are guides specifically written for use at the Ark in, addition to other protocol such as our H&S plan.

Biodiversity monitoring methods:


Health and Safety

Our current Health and Safety Plan can be found here. All volunteers are asked to carefully read this before starting field work at the Ark, and any questions can be sent through to the Ark team at nature.project@forestandbird.org.nz

When volunteers attend their first induction session, they will complete our Volunteer Agreement Form.

Kauri Dieback

To protect our precious Kauri, there is a rāhui in place across the Waitākere Ranges – learn more here, and check which tracks are open in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland here.

At the Ark in the Park, we carefully follow our Kauri Dieback SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to allow us to continue our critical work protecting our precious native ecosystem. Please take the time to read this before your first induction session (contact nature.project@forestandbird.org.nz if you have any questions). 

Covid-19; Orange Setting

To keep each other safe at the Ark in the Park during the Orange setting, we have a set of procedures to follow. Every volunteer coming to the Ark during the Orange setting is asked to please carefully read this. Before coming to the Ark, the team will send you a link to an online form to meet contact tracing requirements, and to ensure all steps are clearly understood. If you’ve already completed this form, there is no need to fill it out again! Please check with Ark staff if you’re unsure about the form, or have any questions about the procedures.

Each volunteer will also be given a copy of  “How to plan a safe trip to the Ark during the Orange setting“, which summarises the key steps, and acts as a handy guide to pop in your car windscreen alongside your Ark volunteer sign. Thanks for working as a team to keep us and our ngahere safe!

Ark in the Park map

To manage our work and keep kauri safer the Ark is divided into the blocks shown above, based on hydrology. The red zones are exclusion zones – areas of healthy kauri which are closed to any access.

Please note: much of the Waitākere Ranges are closed due to the rāhui, including many of the tracks shown on this map. Please check Auckland Council’s website for the most up to date list of tracks which have been reopened following upgrades to keep kauri safer.

Ark in the Park is located in the Waitākere Ranges, which are currently closed to minimise the spread of kauri dieback disease.