Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report April 2019

Once again Jenny Lawrence has worked her magic and developed the funding necessary to finally purchase a nice new rangers’ uniform. Funds were raised from the sale of the calendars designed then kindly donated by local artist Brooke Hartigan.

Nga mihi nui,

I would like to start this report with a strong message of aroha and support for those affected by the mosque attacks in Christchurch. Just like our respect for, and restoration of the entire biodiversity at Bream Head, the Trust encourages and lives a culture of full community support, understanding, kindness and respect for our human diversity – and always will! Peace and love to you all, from Adam, Ripley, our trustees, volunteers and friends! Naku te rourou, nau te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi…together with all our strengths we will be strong/healthy.

Teams have Delivered

It was still ‘full on’ intensive predator control at Bream Head during April, with the huge breeding season serving up plenty of rodents especially. This ‘mast’ breed season continues to place lots of pressure on our system and our teams have delivered a sterling effort once again, keeping the toxin stations in excellent condition with plenty of toxin quantity and quality for the discerning palate of the many hungry mouths. The majority of the uptake on toxin is from mice, but there has indeed been sign of rat interaction with the toxins also, as well as a higher than usual spate of possum catches. In fact, we had 101 predator/pests caught in April 2019, far higher than the 36 caught in the same month in 2018. The good news is that when we look at the statistics for April it reveals that 94% of all 101 pest catches were on the boundary or in the buffer area preceding the reserve, this means that only six unwanted pests were caught inside the reserve interior. This excellent figure has been achieved during this high pest breed season and is an improvement on the 88.9% of the total catches caught on the boundary in April 2018. What will be very interesting will be the results from the tracking tunnel monitor survey due to be conducted in mid-May this year – will the rat index be higher than the average 2-3% tracking rate, the same or lower?

Other Awesome Mahi

As always, other awesome mahi has been conducted throughout the reserve over April, such as Ocean Beach land care continuing their great maintenance of traps and toxin stations in and around Ocean Beach. This group are looking forward to adding more traps as part of a larger scale buffer project the Trust is about to implement. The lizard survey for 2019 has been completed and it reveals some lizards shifting into areas which have not previously recorded lizards before, as well as good observations of our Bream Head skink up near Te Whara. The boat access only site below the northern side of the ‘Old Woman” ridge has had a good toxin/trap service with new ranger Ripley Dean getting out there with me for the first time and really enjoying the steep cliff laden terrain. I had an amazing bird interaction experience (once again) on a walk out to the “Old Woman” site at Bream Head/Te Whara in early April whilst servicing bait stations and traps. Toxin has been bagged up to keep up with the high demand, new Steve Allan traps have been purchased as part of a fund secured by the Trust’s financial committee, the ranger uniform has finally been sorted and looks smashing and Mothplant pods have been removed before exploding their thousands of seeds.

Read the full report for the control and monitoring statistics and a more in-depth look into some of the key items listed above.