PREDATOR CONTROL WORKSHOP – MAHIA.

FOR FARMERS, LANDOWNERS, OR ANYONE WISHING TO LEARN HOW TO TRAP PESTS. 17TH OCTOBER 2017 9.30 AM – 3PM TAHAROA STATION 1637 MAHIA EAST COAST ROAD, MAHIA.

 

17TH OCTOBER 2017 9.30 AM – 3PM TAHAROA STATION 1637 MAHIA EAST COAST ROAD, MAHIA. A practical day with trapping experts from the pest control business. Learn about best practice.

PLEASE REGISTER BY 15TH OCTOBER; MHSMITH @ DOC.GOVT.NZ OR PHONE 0274998527

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Rare birds thriving at Whangawehi

At the end of January, pest control and bird watchers experts from HBRC came for a field visit at Whangawehi. The goal was to receive feedback from the wireless trial underway and also assess the potential for habitat enhancement in the future. The day was well worth while and gave Landowners the confidence that what they had started was already successful. Hans Rook, Bittern expert, was amazed by the scale and the quality of the wetland habitats protected. He encouraged the group to raise water levels in the wetlands  and urged them to increase their pest control effort. While on site the group assessed the possible site for a predator free fence that would allow native birds to colonise a predator reduced environment.

The group was most impressed to spot the rare Fern Bird on the frindges of one of the wetlands. With the return of the white baits and the increase in eel populations in the Whangawehi river, Hans Rook predicted a significant increase in bird life in the very future.

The WCMG group is grateful for the assistance received so far and is looking forward to implementing more pest control work in the catchment.

 

A success for the last guided walk

Friday was the last of a series of 4 very successful guided walks for the Whangawehi group. Nearly 50 participants attended this last event for a walk starting at the Waste Water Treatment Plant and finishing at the Whangawehi bridge. The public was given en explanation of the scheme as well as the restoration programme undertaken downstream  by the community. The large numbers of participants reinforced the group’s conviction that there is a demand for a walk way/cycle way in order to show case the work done and share some of the stories associated with local Maori history with the wider community.

All participants were impressed by the work done and some will come back to support the community planting weekends. Thank you to the landowners for opening their gates for these special events and thank you to Arthur and Malcolm for sharing their knowledge of the area.

Whangawehi display at the Mahia market

Despite the bad weather forecast, the Whangawehi Catchment Management team came together to display the work done and promote the summer series of guided walks and presentations. A huge crowd turned out in the later part of the morning and a number of these people showed interest in the  out coming guided walks. Not surprisingly many of these people were already aware of the group’s profile which was quite satisfying.

A big thank you to Oha Manuel (Engagement Officer),  Jenny Scothern (school coordinator),  Malcolm Smith (DOC), Rae and Toria Te Nahu and the O’Briens for their support during this promotional day.

Our next promotional event will be at the same market next week 10th of January followed by the A&P show on the 16th of January.

Thank you for your support.

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

Pest control update.

The last pest control run was undertaken before the Christmas holidays. A large number of pests have been killed over the past six months including Wild Cats, Stoats, Weasels, Hedgehogs, and rats.  Thanks to Grandy Lake Forest, a new gate was opened which allowed contractors to access the different sites more efficiently, therefore reducing the costs associated with pest control.  One hundred and twenty five traps are currently operating over four properties with the intent to reduce pests along the Whangawehi Stream.  Thank you to all the landowners for maintaining the traps and reporting back those results to the Project Co-ordinator.

Nuhaka school visits Whangawehi

The Whangawehi Catchment Management group was privileged to have the visit of Nuhaka school students today in what could be shaping up to be a new partnership between the two groups.

Oha Manuel, community engagement officer and Nic Caviale, project co-ordinator walked the students to Mamangu for a site visit.  The children undertook water testing on the Whangawehi River, laid out traps for pest control measures and staked the newly planted native trees.

On returning, the group stopped next to a midden (an old Maori shellfish pit)  and discussed how local Tipuna lived off the land and the sea.

The final highlight for the day was visiting the blue penguin box site where the group is actively trying to attract back this bird.

Thank  you to  Shane Mildenhall for allowing access to the site and to the students for their help and enthusiasm.

Wireless pest control trial

 

The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group is actively looking at increasing the scope of its pest control programme.  With assistance from the Hawkes Bay Regional Council the WCMG has been selected as a pilot project to trial 25 new state of the art traps.

These pest control traps are designed to send a signal to a hub located on a high point in the catchment every time a pest is caught.  This data is then sent to the landowners via an application on their mobile phones which alerts them to when and where the traps have been triggered.

This technology could potentially change the face of pest control in the future by significantly reducing maintenance costs, especially in very difficult and rugged terrain.   Contractors would only need to be sent in on targeted trap lines when a set percentage of traps have been set off.   This differs from the traditional maintenance techniques which consist of checking and maintaining the traps on a monthly basis, whether the traps have been sprung or not.

This new wireless leading edge technology added to the new long lasting baits/lures (which last up to twelve months) makes this trial relevant to our steep and remote Mahia hill country.   If successful these traps will play a key role in pest control challenges ahead.  Over the past two years the group has established 70,000 trees and noticed a steep increase in birdlife.  This pest control programme would play an instrumental role in protecting the ever increasing wildlife that is coming back to the area at a significantly lower cost.

The WCMG want to thank Grandy Lake Forest and Taharoa Trust for their co-operaton in trialling these new technology traps and HBRC for allowing us to be part of the trial.

 

 

Pest control on Grandy lake Forest

Yesterday, Graham Douglas Forest Manager for Grandy Lake Forest set up DOC 200 traps along the Whangawehi river and chew cards in order to target pest control effort. Graham set up a project on trap.org.nz and will be reporting to the committee on a monthly basis. Traps will be monitored every 2 weeks in the summer and monthly in the winter. Thank you for this collaboration.

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First trap line inspection along the Whangawehi stream

Pat and Sue O’Brien in partnership with Grandy Lake Forest have retired 10 ha of riparian margins along the Whangawehi stream. A total of 30000 native trees will be planted at completion of the restoration initiative. Both landowners are thrilled to see the bird life coming back to the site. A small scale predator control plan was put in place on the Taharoa Trust just before Christmas with technical support from HBRC. 10 DOC 200 and 6 Timm traps have been donated by HBRC to the group in order to support landowner’s aspirations. These traps target Mustellids, possums and rats. When successful, this community based pest control programme will expand on the other side of the river on Grandy Lake Forest in order to completely protect 1.5 km of retired habitat and create the beginning of a buffer.

In the meantime, landowners and the Whangawehi Community have to demonstrate their ability to maintain and service the traps while reporting on a monthly basis to the group.Trap maintenance will be done by the landowners and volunteers fortnighly from October to April and monthly from May to September. Traps are located along high traffic tracks for easy and regular maintenance. Reporting is currently done via an online application trap.org.nz. Each landowner is able to login and report via a very user friendly interface. Unfortunatelythe traps haven’t caught anything so far. We will keep you posted!

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