Monthly Update Feb 2020

Environmental Educator Report

The centre is up and running after the summer holiday.  It has been good to get the place looking good and ready for camps.  The garden survived the summer and is producing food.

Achievements this month:

  • School and house clean up in preparation for camps.
  • Creating a weta/insect house out of pallet wood supplied by Glenns Glass.
  • Meeting and working with Teresa from DOC, completing a community agreement to do the trap line in the Matata lagoon.
  • NCEA Education for Sustainability planning for Trident
  • Developing a different programme to cater for students that are returning to the centre.
  • Establishing a trip into the Kokako block.
  • Working with Bridget and the Halo Kaitiaki Kadets
  • Meeting with Enviro teachers at Whakatane High school
  • Having the first camps of the year: Awakeri Year 5 and Whakatane Intermediate

It was great to have students at the camp again last week.  It was a busy few days with lots achieved. Nice to have Lisa on camp and taking on the garden. Bookings for March are varied with Primary/Secondary schools and the Alzheimer group.  All the programmes are different so will be fun and challenging.

Project Co-ordinator’s report

I have recently divided the cell tower block into three trap lines to try to ease the physical demands on our trappers. It’s a big steep hill! And to increase the trapping effort and to create a nice loop I have installed some new traps along the V line and have a new volunteer ready to go. Since the kokako have returned to this area, it is worth increasing the effort. There are now feral pigs in the area and 17 were seen in the cell tower area (now reduced to 15) and this is an unwelcome addition.

I have ordered 10 more of NZ Auto traps AT220 traps but due to the virus slowing Chinese production we won’t get these until April. I plan to use these in key places to make trap lines easier.

I have continued to cover the Braemar Road south line and Fran has kindly done the Mackintosh C line and I am still checking the Steve Allan cat traps we have around the Cell Tower margins but no new captures, however one of the DOC 250 stoat traps has picked up another cat so we are continuing to whittle them down. With the help of a great team of volunteers we have reinstalled the NZAT stoat traps into Vyrne Gray’s property. After less than a week many of them have four or five dead rats piled up in the base cages. Thanks to Helen, Brian Soppit, Graeme Bagnall, Weil and Hayden from NZAT. This shows they are working well but also that there are still plenty of rats around.

I have invited the trappers to the combined MET and MKT day on 14 March. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to visit the Kokako area. The Kokako nest above McIvor Road has fledged a chick which is great news and our AT220 did great service under this nest killing a cat, one possum and numerous rats.