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Newsletter ~ March 2013 Issue

Integrated predator management on private land

Our primary activities are integrated predator management (IPM) and advocacy for kiwi on the mainland, particularly outside the Crown estate which is administered by DoC. Integrated is the key word.

Many kiwicare projects concentrate on stoats as these are the main killers of baby kiwi.

NZ Kiwi Foundation agrees that stoats are important, but cats are relatively ignored by most projects. Weasels, rats and hedgehogs are also caught as bycatch when trapping for stoats: weasels are important as they eat kiwi food and all manner of invertebrates; hedgehogs are carriers of leptospirosis as well as being predators of kiwi eggs; but rats may be the most important pest other than stoats and cats because rats are direct competitors for kiwi food, carry diseases such as leptospirosis and eat the fruit and seeds of the forest thus causing widespread damage. The success of the re-introduction of North Island weka to Russell is largely attributable to effective rat control according to NZ's weka expert Tony Beauchamp.

NZ Kiwi Foundation does possum control but numbers are so low now within our project areas that possums are not a major concern. Fur collectors are used initially to control possums in new areas of IPM by NZ Kiwi Foundation. Thereafter, we deal with possums through control by landowners or by servicing bait stations within an IPM system.

NZ Kiwi Foundation land at Russell

Significant progress has been made on the land owned by NZ Kiwi Foundation at Russell Heights. Integrated pest management was established in 2007 and has been maintained since. A track has been made through the block to link Florance Avenue with Russell Heights.

Many thanks to Russell Landcare Group for their planting work in 2011 and 2012. This July, we are expecting to plant up to 500 trees and shrubs. A group of Globalworks volunteers are coming from America to assist with weed control, track-making and planting this winter. The entrance from Florance Avenue requires engineering design and build, and hopefully will be completed next summer. We should then be able to open the walking track.

Stoats and Weasels

Stoats and Weasels

Stoats and weasels can be confused with each other. Both are mustelids (as are ferrets), with stoats being much the larger predator and occupying a bigger range of up to 200 hectares for male stoats. The colours of both animals are similar with light brown on top and white undersides. Ferrets are not seen in the Bay of Islands.

As you can see in the photo, the stoat's tail is longer and has a marked black tip. This stoat is about 300 millimetres long. Both the stoat and the weasel in the photo were trapped on Purerua Peninsula and are typical of the size of each species.

Pateke release

The third and final release of pateke at Mountain Landing on Purerua Peninsula happens this May. Up to 80 pateke are to be released this time adding to the 26 released in 2011 and the 26 in 2012. The project is successful thus far with over 50 percent surviving. The losses have been attributed largely to killing by feral cats.

We expect a large amount of dispersal from this release because of the large number of pateke – so look out in your area for different-looking ducks. Pateke are small, brown ducks with a distinctive white circle around the eye. All these pateke will be tagged but only 20 can be radio-monitored.

Pateke Ducks

New Kiwicare Groups

Puketotara Kiwicare Group was established in 2012 with a Community Pest Control Area (CPCA) of c.1,800 hectares with Northland Regional Council and NZ Kiwi Foundation. It covers most of the land east of Waiare Road, north of Lodore Rd to the Kerikeri River, east to near the beginning of Mangakaretu Road and to the shore of Lake Waingaro. Andrew Mentor is the contact person on 09 401 9699 if you are within this area or just outside it.

A CPCA was established also in late 2012 based on several properties and called the Upper Kerikeri River CPCA and covering over 850 hectares. This, combined with Puketotara Kiwicare, means that there are now linkages between the Puketi Forest Trust and (almost) Kerikeri.

Another CPCA with NZ Kiwi Foundation and IPM was established in 2012 based on the power station site of Top Energy at Ngawha, at c.476 hectares.

There is further commentary and a map of CPCAs and how these interact with NZ Kiwi Foundation in the Convenor's Report for 2012.

Kiwi calls

The annual kiwi monitoring period is approaching. We have moved to monitoring fewer sites for two hours over four nights. Please contact Greg Blunden, Tim Robinson or Peter Ladd if you can assist.

Funding

The Convenor's Report for 2012 deals with the funding situation.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM for the NZ Kiwi Foundation for 2012 will be held at Aroha Island at 3 p.m. on 27th April 2013. Please come along. The formal meeting takes less than an hour followed by a 20 minute talk and discussion, and then refreshments.

Trustees and Committee

Trustee: Russell Thomas is retiring as a trustee at this year's AGM. Russell is a founding trustee of the NZ Kiwi Foundation and was Treasurer in the early years as well. His expertise as an ornithologist has been really informative, and his analysis of all issues has been a central part of most of our decision-making. Russell was on the early missions to find the Taiko in the Chatham Islands and remains a member of the Taiko Trust. We wish Russell well in his retirement but also look forward to continuing discussions with him about our activities. Treasurer and trustee: Edwin De Wilde resigned in May 2012 after six years. Many thanks Edwin and good luck for the future. Michael Goodchild moved north from Christchurch two and a half years ago and has replaced Edwin as Treasurer. Michael has had a long and varied career as an accountant -welcome aboard Michael. The audited annual accounts for 2012 are available. Secretary: Tracey Bowers was our secretary for over 18 months until December 2012. Thank you Tracey for your great work. Is there anyone who would like to join us as secretary? Meetings are monthly plus the AGM in April. Note that no specialist knowledge of kiwi is required for this job. And, it's usually fun!

NZ Kiwi Foundation contact details:


Trustees:
Greg Blunden
Peter Ladd
Ross Lockyer
Tim Robinson
Russell Thomas
... more required

Other Committee members:
Gay Blunden
Terry Quinlan

Convenor:
Greg Blunden
021 710 441
nz.kiwi.foundation@gmail.com

Membership & Newsletter:
Gay Blunden
09 405 1244
gay.blunden@hotmail.com

Secretary:
Vacant

Treasurer, Sponsorship and Donations:
Michael Goodchild
farnorthtax@gmail.com

Website:
Paul Denny
bayofislands@xtra.co.nz

Pest managers:
Gay Blunden
Letty Bonney
Noel Bonney
Leon Botello
Chris Hambrook
Terry Johnson
Joe Vorwerk