Insect monitoring programme

On Tuesday the 6th of November, Janice Edwards and Pat O’Brien headed out into the catchment to set up our yearly insect monitoring traps. The group monitors its insect population using a simple but effective protocol. This monitoring programme allows us to measure the impact of the restoration programme on our local insect biodiversity.  The traps are left out for a week. The insects collected over this period get trapped into an alcohol jar and are then identified by Janice.  She is then able to count the number of taxons present in the jar and compare with last years count. We are aiming for a higher number of taxons (families) which was the case last year.

A big thank you to Janice and Pat for making this important monitoring tool happen on a yearly basis.

Whangawehi celebrates the Pacific International River Awards

The Whangawehi community is celebrating this Award received in Sydney in October 2018. A big thank you to the whole team and the wider community. This award celebrates the commitment of a dedicated community that has delivered some key milestones over the past 4 years. Well done to you all. Pai the Mahi.

 

Catchment update

As you can see from the photo’s-all our trees have grown a lot over the winter period. They are flourishing and there is nothing stopping them now. Water is flowing very clear in the Whangawehi stream but algae are already starting to pop up at Mamangu which is a bit early.

A new tree species-the Poroporo-is now growing along the river which has been self-introduced by birds. Poroporo is a native tree already present in the DOC reserve. A small scrub-the Poroporo is traditionally a very valuable plant to Maori because of it’s itch relief properties. It’s a delightful looking plant that is known to grow extremely fast.

It is great to see that the cycle of nature is taking place and allowing the diversification of our local biodiversity.

 

Water monitoring on the Whangawehi

On the 6th April, Arthur Bowen carried out his bi-monthly water monitoring run throughout the catchment area.  Water levels had been running low throughout April so despite the creeks running clear, in sunny places algae growth was quite strong and not very appealing.  In the forest, we came across protected culverts and retaining structure (debris dams)-well done to Graham Douglas for all his hard work.

As we were driving past the White Pine Crossing, we saw a Kahikatea tree with berries on it so stopped to collect the seeds for Ngaire Pasma.  Ngaire grows trees as a hobby and is delighted to help the group grow Kahikatea plants.

As we were driving along the first planting on Taharoa, we stopped to appreciate the rapid growth of plants.  At the rapids, the algae growth was strong, water temperature was around 20 degrees and still warm.  We also checked for any signs of White Bait spawning  but didn’t see any activity.

 

Richard Coops is extending his network of traps

Rod Dickson from Hawkes Bay Regional Council recently visited Richard Coops on Okepuha Station.  A few years ago Richard started off with a few traps but is now extending his network of traps.  In the upcoming days, his traps will be GPSed and then loaded onto a cloud application “trap.nz”, a great reporting and collaborative platform.  This will enable Richard to record trap catches from his mobile phone via an app or from his computer.  These traps will be laid out around the newly restored/planted area where we hope to encourage more bird life to the area. Richard has already contacted to say that he needs more traps! Well done Richard.

The senior class at Te Mahia school hike up to the Whangawehi shelter for the first time.

With some careful planning & preparation, the senior class finally set off for there first visit to the Whangawehi shelter on the 28th February 2018.  Initially this visit was planned for November 2017 but had to be postponed as it was rained out.  The weather was perfect for an hour’s hike over O’Brien’s farm this time round, with two vehicles bringing up the rear, carrying SHMAKs and other resources. At the shelter we split into two groups. The boys headed down to the stream with Arthur and Jenni and two dads. Testing the stream was interesting, though few creatures were found – plenty of snails in the algae and a few worms were. 

The water was clear. Meanwhile the girls were investigating the difference in the 8 cultivars of harakeke growing around the shelter. The groups then exchanged places but this time the stream group went to a stonier site and found at least 15 inanga hungrily feeding on grasshoppers who had leapt to their death into the stream. More invertebrates were discovered there under the stones.

 The hike back was a challenge for some, but we all arrived back at school cheerful and with a great experience to share.  We look forward to the Rocky Shore field trip planned for March.

May water monitoring data

Water monitoring was carried out at Whangawehi. Faecal contamination is bellow acceptable limit for recreational purposes which is surprisingly good. Water sampling was done after a long rain event and it is good to see that our riparian strips and fences are doing a good job. During the sampling, we observed quite a few geese dwelling in several tributaries. Surprisingly enough, these tributaries had higher than average E Coli levels. The geese population will have to be controlled if we want to reduce our faecal contamination in the waterways.

May2017

Two experts at Whangawehi

On the 12th and 13th of November, two well renown consultants came to Whangawehi to assess the work done and provide expertise and advice on how to better manage the protected ecosystems and increase their biodiversity. A report will follow but both were most impressed by the work done by the group. Guidance was given on water management in the wetlands in order to create more favourable habitats for wetland species. Water levels and diverse margins or ecotones are key to the success.

A big thank you to John Cheyne and Hans Rook for their help and support.