Wildlife survey and enhancement options

In November 2016, John Cheyne and Hans Rook (Environmental Consultants) carried out a survey on the Whangawehi Catchment footprint with the idea of enhancing and better connecting the different ecosystems restored. Over the past two three years, the group has retired 42 ha of riparian margins, 5 ha of bush block and established 135 000 native trees. Pat and Sue O’Brien also retired 10 years ago a network of wetlands (40 ha) which brings the total area to 82 ha. This significant land area should attract and sustain large numbers of rare wetland birds including the Matuku or Bittern. The Matuku are so rare they have the highest New Zealand conservation threat ranking (Nationally critical) which is higher than Blue duck/Whio (Nationally vulnerable), Nort Island Kokako (Recovering) and North Island Brown Kiwi (Nationally Vulnerable). Nationally critical is the same conservation threat status allocated to Kakapo, Takahe, Shore plover and Black Robin. Matuku is the rarest heron in the world and it is estimated that the population in New Zealand today is only 750-800 birds.

This report gives suggestions on how to enhance our habitats to attract some of these rare birds. Pest control is obviously a MUST do if we want to bring back  and sustain a Matuku population in the catchment.

Follow the link : wetland-survey

The Ministry for the Environment visits Whangawehi

Roz Andersen, from the Ministry for the Environment, came to visit the project and check if we had made good use of MFE funding.

MFE substantially supports the project via the Te Mana o Te Wai and Community Environment Fund. The funds received so far have helped deliver an holistic programme including the delivery of our largest conservation campaign so far ie the construction of fences, the extension of reticulated water supplies for stock and the establishment of a large number of native trees. Roz was impressed by the work done and also got to better understand our challenges in a dynamic environment. She was happily surprised to discover our new shelter and flax collection around it.

The WCMG would like to thank the Ministry and Roz in particular for making the time to come, visit us and understand our challenges at ground level.

Okepuha Station is taking off

The WCM group is preparing a new riparian project on Okepuha Station, owned by Hannah and Richard Coop. The  young couple signed the groups’ Memorandum of Understanding in October 2015 and was looking forward to getting started. The project became possible through funding applications and will allow initially the retirement of 10 ha of eroding gullies and the establishment of 25 000 native trees (July 2017).

We welcome this good news and thank our generous funders.

Visit to the Cape Sanctuary

On the 24th of November, The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group had the privilege to visit the Cape Sanctuary to learn from a famous initiative. A big thank you to Campbell Leckie and his team for guiding us through and giving us an insight on the work done. The visit was inspirational and gave us all an idea of what could be achieved at Whangawehi.