Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report July August 2020

We found a stunning endemic plant, a rare broom called Carmichaelia Williamsii, at the Eastern tip of the Reserve.

Gidday folks

I hope this report finds you all well. The past two months have been hectic, with the preparation and implementation of the major stoat control operation taking up most of the time on the reserve. The trust volunteers, other volunteers, DOC staff and our rangers have put in a huge effort to make the operation a smooth success (more detail inside this report). Predator numbers have remained significantly low throughout this period with minimal catches on the boundary too. Toxin uptake has been super low also with mainly only mice and invertebrate uptake in the grassland or boundary areas. I am very glad to report that a survey of the grey faced petrel study burrows (conducted by Cathy Mitchell) revealed 16 of the 19 burrows were occupied with 15 adult birds sitting on eggs which is just so great. This positive news is a double edged sword however, as I now have six months of worry to deal with as we try our best to protect these vulnerable seabirds from predation. The other teams of volunteers who keep the ship steady behind the scenes have been busy as usual with the governance and coordination of the Trust, which is so very vital for this awesome project to continue its core mahi and expand its capabilities in habitat and biodiversity restoration.

So Many Highlights

Other highlights during the past two months include “turning on the lights” – the powering up of our off grid electrical supply for our operational facility, new ranger Simon Braithwaite joining the team, the inaugural Forest Restoration Team (FORT) weeding event, receiving the NRC Environmental Award at the official ceremony, securing a $20,000 DOC fund to trial new remote trap sensing and lure technology equipment, more active GFP burrows in new areas on the reserve’s south side, whiteheads (popokatea) spotted in small groups in several areas throughout the reserve, a draft video has been produced revealing our story and was the result of success from the NRC environment award, and of course that wonderful very rare endemic native broom plant find at the eastern tip of the reserve. Up until late August of this year the stunning endemic plant known as Carmichaelia Williamsii (William’s broom) was thought to be regionally extinct from most of its traditional habitat on mainland New Zealand. On the mainland, all but a few plants exist at East Cape and are under great threat there, however there are stable populations of the plant on the Poor Knights Islands and on small islands of the Coromandel coast. This find at BHSR is further evidence that the removal of predators, pest plants and browsing mammals allows the natural ecological processes to restore either through natural or assisted translocations of plant and animal species. Another fantastic success for the Bream Head Conservation Trust!

Read the full Rangers Report (1.9MB pdf) for more on these and other local stories!