July 2018

What’s been happening in the RNRP May and June 2018 - Graeme Andrews


The weather has been getting colder and we have had some early snow. Rain has slowed work down a bit, but a spell of fine weather late May enabled us to catch up on most of our work program. Jen has been having a change of scenery with a trip to Canada and Emma McCool has been filling in as supervisor for the fauna team.
Mustelids
Stoat catches are still low, with only 8 stoats caught in May and 6 so far in June. compared to 30 in March. We have caught 3 more ferrets in the last 2 months making 6 for the year. The two-year bedding lure trial has now finished in Big Bush. Elaine Richards from Lincoln will write up a report, but it looks as though the bedding lure was no more successful than Erayz.
Possums
Possum captures have remained at a low level with 7 caught in May, and 7 so far in in June. We are continuing our clay-based lure trial in Big Bush, but it is too early yet to determine any difference from our normal possum dough lures.
Great Spotted Kiwi Monitoring
The acoustic monitoring work continues with analysis of the recordings from the March monitoring. FOR volunteers are still going through the hours of recordings and are no doubt getting very familiar with the night sounds of the bush.
In June staff removed transmitters from the last two monitored adult kiwi in the RNRP. After ten years of wearing transmitters it was time to give these birds a break. When RNRP staff and FOR volunteer Wayne Sowman went to catch Puremahaia to remove his TX they discovered him roosting in a burrow with his new chick and two other adult kiwi. The other kiwi present were the female Awaroa and another untransmittered kiwi which matched the measurements for a bird released through the Operation Nest Egg programme in 2012, Turimawiwi. The chick was left in the burrow (photo) while the adults were health checked.
The sub-adult female Joy remains to be caught for a health check-up and will have her transmitter changed so we can continue to monitor her location.
Thank you everyone for your help with various elements of the Kiwi project.
Tracking Tunnels
Tracking tunnels were checked at Rotoiti and Rotoroa early May. This check was just for rodents. Rotoiti tracked at 39% for rats and 8% for mice. Rotoroa tracked at 3% for rats and 19% for mice.
Teetotal Cat Trapping
Live cat trapping in Teetotal area was completed mid-May with 16 cats and 1 possum caught. Thanks to all those who helped with the daily checks.
What’s coming up in July
Winter maintenance of our various track networks continues. Nest monitoring for keas will start. If you see any keas it would be great if you could enter them directly into the national kea database website https://keadatabase.nz/ Check out the website for great info on kea sightings including mugshots of photogenic keas

Training for GSK Volunteers - Chris Richards

Triangulation training is progressing well with instructions from Jen. So far Toni, Pip, Kevin, Wayne and Chris have attended training sessions. At the last training session there were 6 of us, including Jen, so if you feel motivated and are not on the roster please feel free to attend anyway. The sessions seem to take about 1.5 - 2 hrs.

Roster:-

August 2 Toni, Pip

August 16 Steve, Christine

August 30  Toni ?

September 13 ?

September 29 ?

The venue is as per usual - DOC lower carpark 10.30 Thursdays as above.

Julie Robilliard