Thursday, 23 August 2012

OROKONUI ECOSANCTUARY

by Sue Hensley

The recent prolonged rains have generated a large amount of clean-up
work, although in general the ecosanctuary fence and tracks have stood
up pretty well with no major problems arising.

The major work of adding more monitoring lines in order to be able to
deal with mice more successfully has recently been completed, and the
first round of monitoring this enlarged system has been run. On the
fantastic side, results showed no rat footprints (the last one being
detected in May 2011) and on the expected side were large numbers of
mouse footprints. A programme of trapping and poisoning is now
underway. Initial trapping on the trust land (the top, more open area)
caught 160 very fat mice (no competition and little predation). Maybe
this is what the pair of falcon that has been seen in the area has
been subsisting on.

The four juvenile kaka that have been housed in the aviary over the
past few months are now at large in the sanctuary. It was wonderful to
watch their aviary antics, their social behaviour and listen to their
many and varied vocalisations. We wish them well in their new wild
lives.

Another new face at Orokonui is making a mark from his vantage point
on the grassland area. Tane Mahuta, the forest guardian, has been coaxed
out of a huge block of macrocarpa by local carver Alex Whittaker. It
is an impressive piece and Orokonui gives a big thank you to Alex who
has worked out in the field in some very inclement weather and has
given of his time generously.

Details of band nights and other events can be found on
www.orokonui.org.nz or on our Facebook page. The visitor centre and
cafĂ© are open daily 9.30am – 4.30pm.

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