Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Fwd: Orokonui Ecosanctuary article March


by Sue Hensley

No rats were detected in the latest round of pest monitoring and we
have been rat free for
six months. This is a great result from the huge eradication
effort put in over 2010.

These animals can live in an area at very low numbers but simply have
not been recorded through a tracking tunnel. The longer the time with
no rat records though, the more
likely a place is to be truly rat free. The more correct term at this stage,
but rather a mouthful, is that rats are at "undetectable levels". Of course
rats can enter in other ways but that is a quite another story.

Mice on the other hand were at undetectable levels late last year but have
shown up in several areas recently. Research is underway to better
understand the dynamics of this population.

An injured (foot amputee) female kaka from the Eglinton Valley was recently
added to the captive aviary population. She is a female monitored by DOC and
her name is Kleopatra (kaka spelling of course, hence the K). Although she
can forage for herself, she would be vulnerable to predators in the wild and
so has come to live at Orokonui. A male from the Botanic Gardens will be
introduced at a later date and hopefully her wild genes will be added to our

Numerous fungi are making the most of continuing damp conditions and are
sending up fruiting bodies in a number of shapes – mushroom, coral, pouch
and tentacled as well as in striking colours including bright yellow, deep
velvet red, orange, white and brown.

Visitor Centre and café are open every day 9.30-4.30. All day entry, annual
passes and guided walks available. Keep up to date with events on Facebook
and www.orokonui.org.nz.

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