Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report January 2016

Just before the Xmas break BHCT Volunteers, Trustees and supporters gathered to toast the successful completion of the fully installed biodiversity management network and new
HQ.  The ranger and volunteer teams have now had a brief but pleasant break and are very busy once again out on the reserve maintaining our intensive predator control network and monitoring systems. Summer brings an increased work load on top of the already busy maintenance programme, with some enjoyable added tasks such as the annual Lizard survey soaking up a lot of our time.

Late December/early January brought about another small wave of Stoats to the reserve which were in turn all quickly cleaned up by our intensive trapping within a fortnight! We are however, planning to utilise a Stoat and Rat detecting conservation dog twice per year in the reserve as another tool to battle these incursions each summer. Other pests are again almost undetectable across our vast network of traps this summer and the December Tracking Tunnels returned a 0% RTI (Residual Tracking Index) for rats and mustelids. That’s the fourth December since 2010 we have tracked 0% RTI for rats.

The RTI results for 2015 are below.

May 2015: Rat 4.17%, Mice 13.08, Weta 26.92
Aug 2015: Rat 1.33%. Mice 12.00%, Weta 31.33%
Dec 2015: Rat 0%, Mice 13.33%, Weta 30.00%

(Note: May 2015 result does not include rats tracked in tunnels in the eastern end of Area 4 which had only just started to be treated.)

Two teams from the Trust will soon adventure south in February and March to begin the process of our North Island Robin/Toutouwai translocation to Bream Head Scenic Reserve with the actual release due in April and May. This first stage requires a small team to pre-feed the Robins so there are familiar with human contact making it easier for monitoring post release. The February excursion will head into the beautiful Kaweka ranges between Taupo and Napier in a reserve area known as Mangatutu.

Read the January 2016 Rangers Report (1.3MB pdf) for more details on this and other stories.