Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report April 2018

Some good bamboo control work has occurred near the entrance to our HQ facility and we have cut a surface water swale in the paddock above the HQ buildings to stop water eroding the bank.

Tena koutou e hoa ma (gidday friends)! I hope most of you have been getting out and about in this stunning autumn weather, I thoroughly recommend a walk around Bream Head at the moment, the birds have exploded in numbers and bird song is being heard at chorus levels throughout most of the reserve over most of the day.
Rodent take of the pindone toxin is still relatively high in most areas of the reserve, although rodent indices usually trend a few percent higher in mid – late autumn as they increase their food gathering to produce more body fat in order to survive the leaner winter months. As always, our ranger and volunteer toxin and trapping teams have not slowed down the frequency and quality of predator control and it has been a really busy month also training up new keen volunteers and assessing that those already in the team are being consistent with our very high level of quality control methods. The five-minute bird count teams, led by Mike and Jenny Butcher, have been out in the very early hours of the day (my favourite time of day) to the four count sites situated throughout key listening areas within Bream Head. We have had our first visit by a large group of 50 Auckland University of Technology (AUT) environmental sciences students in April. I presented to the group at our headquarters with the students sitting on the gravel and trap boxes – a reality I pointed out to them of the difficulties conservation community groups face trying to raise sufficient funds for essential infrastructure. However, the students were exceptional listeners and very interested in the nuts and bolts of intensive mainland predator and weed control and the larger scale holistic issues our ‘business’ is challenged with.

As well as all this we have been joined by local DOC ranger staff for a few days to battle with the large infestations of Mothpant, which are mainly restricted to the Northern and eastern flanks of Bream Head. Some good bamboo control work has occurred near the entrance to our HQ facility and we have cut a surface water swale in the paddock above the HQ buildings to stop water eroding the bank above said structures. Read the Full April Report to find out more detail about some of these cool outcomes the BHCT has achieved in April.