Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report June 2021

Our volunteers are hearing the latest methods and technology to remove predators from large landscape areas and then protect those gains.

Kia ora te whanau,

I hope this report finds you all well, warm and dry! Doesn’t the place look so wonderful all green and lush again, I enjoy all the seasons, but winter is one of my particular favourites because of the refreshing rains and the cool snow, the latter being a vital element for my love of sliding down steep mountains on expensive sticks (lol). Even though the weather may be a bit duller it is certainly not dull out on the reserve for our teams of hard working rangers and volunteers. The troops have been busy throughout all our many areas of mahi ensuring the project keeps ticking along at full intensity and at the highest level of quality.

Predator control throughout the month has seen only very few catches around the traps. Uptake of the double tap rodent toxin has slowed a bit since the usual autumn rush with only the grassy open land areas on the northern boundary and eastern flanks seeing a high uptake due to abundant field mice populations in those areas. The ranger team has now finished the install of extra predator control and monitoring devices at the grey faced petrel (gfp) monitoring sites on the eastern tip of the reserve. This includes more trail cameras keeping a close eye on the movements of predators and the gfp adults that are getting ready to lay their eggs in late July hopefully. In early August, a qualified team will return to these gfp breeding sites to carefully look into burrows to see if adults are present and if they are sitting on eggs. As you read this the mustelid trapping team will be immersed in a specialised stoat toxin operation using PAPP throughout the reserve in mid to late July, with the objective of removing any residual and trap shy stoats from around this area before the gfp eggs are laid. I hope all the extra gear and visits the team are putting into this gfp protection pays off this breeding season and we crack a good system for removing residual and new stoats from the reserve going forward.

This month saw lots of other tasks and activities achieved such as:

  • The signing up of even more new volunteers.
  • Conservation focused ‘Bush craft’ visits to Whangarei Heads school as part of our environmental education delivery.
  • Whangarei Girls High School environmental education visit.
  • The install of another one of our fantastic interpretation signs at the start of Peach Cove Track and in the Ocean Beach carpark.
  • A BHCT volunteer refresher and information afternoon with a lovely afternoon tea.
  • Cleaning of trap boxes, calibration of traps, install of automated lure dispensers to trap boxes.
  • More plant nursery development with shade house site earthworks and working bees to sow native seeds.
  • Continued trap line maintenance including lowering bait stations and marking tracks with new pink markers.

Read the full report for reports from our other rangers, a summary of the recent ZIP event and other highlights of the month.