Project News

Rangers Report February 2023

Rangers Report February 2023

Operational Summary

This report covers January and February 2023. 

Key points:

Our buffer and roadside traps continue to catch more predators than traps within the reserve. 

Detection of a similar proportion of stoats with our cameras in early 2023 compared to early 2022. Note: not all cameras could be serviced.

PFW has provided a great update.

Aki Tai Here has been a great help with our pest plant control.

Cyclone Gabrielle has left a lot of damage in its wake - see update in the ranger’s report section.

We are switching from pindone to ratabate for our rodent control programme.

New ranger on the reserve! Meet David.

Cyclone Gabrielle

The cyclone ripped right through the reserve leaving a big mess for us to deal with. The strong Southwest wind knocked a lot of trees down across the reserve, but did the most damage on the Northern side. Whilst driving down Ocean Beach Road, you will notice most of the hillside has turned brown. Many trees with track markers, traps and toxin stations attached have come down making it very hard to service these toxin/trap lines. We are working hard to clear our tracks so we can get back to the important mahi (predator control!).

The rain didn’t affect the North side of the reserve as much as the South. There are a lot of slips/landslides on the Southern side of the reserve, some of which are enormous. It’s very humbling to see how much earth can be carved out of a hillslide in one swoop. We will be re-routing tracks to avoid crossing slips.

Pest Control

Uptake by rodents of pindone in our bait stations has been low over the months following last spring's 1080 operation. Inside our intensive rodent control areas, where we are using ratabate (diphacinone) paste, uptake is higher. We have begun switching pindone out for ratabate across the rest of the reserve to see what happens to our uptake.

The aftermath of the cyclone has meant a lot of time has been pulled from our pest control programme and put into clearing our toxin/trap lines.

New BHCT ranger alert!

We are very happy to now have David on board as our new full time ranger. David has come from Nelson with a deep appreciation for the NZ bush. He recently completed Northtec’s pest control course, so he’s entered his new position with some great skills. He has now been with us for almost one month and has learnt his role very quickly. He is becoming quite the insect expert and has a great eye for spotting little creatures. He had quite the induction to his role, starting the day after Cyclone Gabrielle. He’s been a huge help with the reserve tidy up. Great to have you here, David, keep up the awesome work.

Interesting finds

In this month's full report are two images of the Auckland green gecko (Naultinus elegans) photographed by Ecologist Matt Turner within the reserve. This species is one of four gecko species found in the reserve, but is the only green gecko species (Naultinus) we have here. The Auckland green can be found in patches around the Northern half of the North Island. They are an arboreal species that hunt for insects and feed on nectar. Green geckos are endemic pollinators. Check the full report part one for photos and a link to more information about these cute geckos, and don't forget to check out full report part two as well.

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