Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report May 2019

This month we got low rodent tracking numbers and a big, new, awesome, flash, plywood-panelled, side-opening container!

Nga mihi mahana,

It’s been another month with many amazing outcomes achieved once again. I still struggle at times to believe how this project can continue to have success after success in conservation restoration, and at times I have to be honest I worry something must go wrong. It’s a great example of how well nature can recover when invasive predators and pests are reduced to very low numbers. These successes are the result of the massive community support and engagement, and the effective systems implemented by the Trust.

This month has continued to be very dry relative to the average rainfall at Bream Head and the Whangarei Heads for this time of year, and this has placed great pressure on all species trying to survive out there. Noticeably, kiwi call counts have been well down on other years and birds have been seen in larger flocks around the wetter areas such as Cabbage Tree flat out the south side of Bream Head/Te Whara. The ground is actually still very dry under the first inch or so of topsoil, so hopefully the more recent rains continue to fall with a higher volume to build the ground moisture up which is so vital going into spring and summer. We had another high possum catch rate this month in comparison to this period in previous years, however none of the possums were caught within the reserve (the interior of the reserve has the same density of possum traps per hectare as the boundary).

The first bit of good news I would like to convey is the extremely low rodent tracking index (RTI) for May 2019, which came in at only 0.74% (+/- 1%)!! This is the lowest RTI for May since Bream Head Conservation Trust has been intensively controlling predators at Bream Head Scenic Reserve.
The other fantastic news is of course the upgrade to the Trust’s operational, research and education facility at the start of the Peach Cove Track. For those following us on Facebook you would have seen the regular updates outlining the wonderfully kind donations and work that our local community and businesses from around Whangarei have provided toward this vital project.

Of course all our awesome volunteers and ranger Ripley Dean have been thrashing themselves out there on the reserve, getting stuck into the nitty gritty predator and pest plant control as well as the species monitoring mahi. Without this team of dedicated, passionate people this operation would not be such a great community project, nor would it be anywhere as much fun to be involved in!

Read the full report for all the RTI numbers, predator control results and a more in-depth look into activity on the Reserve.