Friday, 24 May 2013

OROKONUI ECOSANCTUARY

by Sue Hensley

Over the last few months a lot of predator monitoring and trapping has been going on. No mammals were detected within the sanctuary other than mice but they were at very low levels and in just two main locations. One hundred and thirty six kill traps were set and nothing caught. Probably the recent upgrade of five of the worst culverts has contributed to this great result. It is interesting to compare this with the external traps set just outside the fence over the same period, which caught 30 mice, 11 rats, 5 stoats, 5 rabbits, 9 hedgehogs, and 10 weasels.

Trapping outside the fence relieves the pressure of predators on the fence and lets Orokonui know which pests and what sort of numbers are out there. A pest control workshop for communities is planned for the end of the year.

Paku the female takahe that arrived from Kapiti Island in mid-May seems to be settling down. She was brought in as a companion for Orokonui's lone male Quammen. Takahe can be very aggressive towards another coming into their territory but the early signs from these two are positive and they are showing some interest in and communicating with each other as well as eating together from the same hopper. As this goes to print they will hopefully be free-ranging in the upper grasslands.

A fundraising concert with Delgirl will be held on 1 June. Matariki at the end of June promises lots of interesting events featuring a concert by Richard Nunns and Paddy Free and cooking with Fleur. These and other Matariki activities can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or on our Facebook page. The Visitor Centre is open daily 9:30–4:30pm, the Café 10:00--4:00pm.

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