Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report May 2016

A large crowd welcomed the birds at the Ocean Beach Car Park before our special volunteers did the hard yards of carrying the individual translocation boxes up to the release site.

Toutouwai Release

Toutouwai Release

Successful Robin Release

The second and final release of ten North Island Robin (Toutouwai) into Bream Head Scenic Reserve on May 14th was hugely successful and attracted even more interested local and regional residents and media attention. A large crowd welcomed the birds at the Ocean Beach Car Park before our special volunteers did the hard yards of carrying the individual translocation boxes up to the release site near the summit of Bream Head/Te Whara. Whilst the group ascended to the release site a bunch of supporters and trustees enjoyed the celebrations by viewing the release via a live video feed back at the Trust’s headquarters. The birds were released at 10am in the same site as the previous releases, and those attending said that it was a very special, emotional occasion as we realized this part of our region had not heard or seen North Island Robin since 1912!! For others it was a fitting time for family and friends with some birds named after supporters’ lost ones and those that are ill.

For all those who have been involved with Bream Head Conservation Trust over the years since 2002 it was a proud day, a day we had all hoped would come when lost species could be reintroduced back into this rejuvenated ecosystem, this outstanding local landscape and our future would be full of their friendly personalities and bird song.

Abundance of Food

All the great moisture and heat we have had over the summer months has sure boosted the growth of everything including plants, weeds, seeds, pests and even endemic species. This has resulted in a far higher abundance of food availability going into the autumn and winter months. Anecdotal evidence from ranger observations are that Bellbird and Kaka numbers have been substantially higher than revious years. Native plant growth, especially of those planted at Homebay last winter, has been expotential. Unfortunately pests and weeds have enjoyed the great growing conditions too and we have seen mice numbers back up into the 30% region after a consistant tracking index since mid 2015 of around 13-15%. Wasps have returned in high numbers (the Trust is looking into wasp control next summer with an exciting new toxin) and weeds have grown at a phenomenal rate also. The great news is that rat numbers remain incredibly low, so low in fact that we have just recorded our lowest ever ‘entire reserve’ rat Residual Tracking Index (RTI) for May of only 2%.

Read the May 2016 Rangers Report (1.4MB pdf) for more details on this and other stories.