There has been a lot going on at Te Whara the past few months which meant the ranger reports skipped a couple of months. This report will bring you up to speed and we will be back to our regular bi-monthly updates going forward.
● The Number of pests being caught in traps has decreased steadily since June (refer to trapping results and appendix). This might be because pest numbers are low and/or they are more trap shy at the moment
● Uptake of toxin across the reserve and through the 1080 operation has been quite low. The grassy eastern end of the reserve is the exception
● Possum catches and camera detections have dropped a lot since May 2022
● Detections of stoats by the camera network have fluctuated through the year
● A handful of pōpokotea/whitehead individuals were spotted during the September survey. Learnings from this survey will soon be shared
● A set of new rangers were added to the mix: Myself (Tom FP), Nate and Wauku
● 12 healthy GFP chicks inside burrows were confirmed at the nesting site during the September check. A stoat has been spotted snooping around the nesting area which is being chased down
● The nursery is ticking along with the leadership of Tom G and the help of the wider volunteer and BHCT team.
Here's some analysis of what has been caught in the most recent two months.
● Number of pests being caught has decreased slightly. It is possible the 1080 operation has made an impact on what we catch in our kill traps.
● Load The Road (our trap system on Ocean Beach Road)was dominant in catches for this month.
● Catch totals for 2022 remain higher than in 2021. The addition of LTR followed by the increase in check frequency have made a probable impact on our year to date total
● Toxin uptake by rats and mice has been low for the majority of the reserve. This suggests low rodent numbers inside the reserve and could be why trap catch is low. Stay tuned for the next run of rodent monitoring to see if this is the case.
Advanced camera detection results
The cameras have been consistent in snapping great shots of kiwi. Unfortunately the cameras are increasingly detecting stoats and cats. On a positive note, possum detections have steadily dropped as we only get a few stragglers show up from time to time. PFW and BHCT rangers are doing a great job of catching the majority of these individuals in traps. It’s been a huge help knowing when and where possums are moving through the reserve.
It is with great pride and happiness that I can announce our 2021/22 grey faced petrel (gfp) protection and monitoring a complete and wonderful success!
We’ve been installing cameras alongside our automated lure dispensers. We’ve seen good things (robins and kiwis) as well as bad (possums and stoats).
We have had such a busy, productive month this September, there has hardly been time to take a breath!
Our local seabird champion Cathy Mitchell spent a full day clambering around the steep terrain at the eastern tip of the reserve checking each of the burrows
Remote reporting of set and sprung traps on the north bounday of our reserve.
Our volunteers are hearing the latest methods and technology to remove predators from large landscape areas and then protect those gains.