• Mt Arthur

Predator control and monitoring

Non-native predators are having a devastating impact on New Zealand's forests. Friends of Flora volunteers have been trapping predators since 2001. In 2018, our trap network includes 1203 trapping stations and covers over 8,000 hectares. Traps are arranged every 100 m along lines, some of which follow public tracks, but most are off-track on marked routes. At each station there is a trap box containing one or two DOC 150 kill traps, targeting stoats and weasels. Traps are baited with either eggs or preserved rabbit meat and are checked monthly.

Trapping rodents at a landscape scale, such as the Flora, is impossible. DOC uses periodic aerial-application of 1080 to control rats especially following major beech seeding or masting.

Possums are at very low numbers in the Flora. In the past, we have trapped them, but numbers are so low, this is now not necessary.

A very important part of FOF's activity is monitoring what we are achieving. All trap catches are entered on a database and monthly reports are produced to show the number of mustelids and rodents caught. We use this information to determine if we need to change trap check frequency.

Throughout Kahurangi NP the abundance of pests is monitored using Tracking Tunnels. Inked cards are placed in these tunnels and as pests run through they get ink on their feet which leave footprints on white card at the ends of the tunnels. The proportion of tunnels with pest prints provides a relative measure of the abundance of the pests. FOF carries out such surveys in the Flora several times a year. This information is used to determine the need for additional pest control.

Masting, when the beech trees produce huge numbers of seed, occurs irregularly and is followed by outbreaks of rodents, with subsequent rise in the numbers of mustelids. DOC monitors beech flowering by collecting flowers from the canopy and FOF monitors seed numbers using funnels that catch the falling seed. This information indicates the need for mast-driven, additional pest control a year in advance.

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Blake Ambassador's blog

The Blake Ambassadors is a programme run by the Sir Peter Blake Trust that sends young people to work on environmental and heritage projects. Natalie de Burgh, is currently working in your Flora project area. She is recording her experiences on a blog: Click here


Timeline

April 2016

12 kiwis translocated from South Gouland to the Flora area.

February 2016

Ecological surveys of the Salisbury Ecological Management Unit with joint DOC/FOF teams

Mar & April 2013

12 kiwis translocated from New Creek with another 8 kiwi released from the Upper Roaring Lion in April. See the pictures on our facebook page

Dec 2012

Our first kiwi chick is born.

Mar 2012

National Radio Interview with Maryann Ewers & Bill Rooke, founders of FoF.

Feb 2012

Man prosecuted for taking his dog into the Flora area, endangering the kiwi.

Feb 2011

10 years of Friends of Flora celebrated.

October 2010

Helen Clark, becomes Patron of Friends of Flora.

May 2010

Friends of Flora and DOC Motueka release 12 adult kiwi into the Flora. Read the monthly updates.

2004

Friends of Flora and DOC Motueka release whio into the Flora. Read annual whio survey data.

Feb 2001

Friends of Flora was founded.