Update on the Southland Section NZAC Conservation Initiative
By: Stanley Mulvany
Source: Southland Section Newsletter (Dec 2017)
Recently the Otago section donated us $1000.00 and the club committee $1500.00 towards our conservation initiative. With this we purchased 15 Goodnature Rat and Stoat A24 traps, 6 months supplies of long-life lures and 4 electronic counters. On the 6 and 7th of December we laid out a new trapline from the bottom of the Homer Saddle down to Homer Hut and continuing from the first flat on the Gertrude Valley Track up to the bushline on Crosscut. In addition, we moved 3 of our box traps from Monkey Flat and opposite Cirque Creek high into the Homer Cirque extending the trapline there to within 150m of the saddle. We have added several more traps higher up in the Gertrude cirque. Iris Broekema who does the monitoring of rock wrens in the area donated us 4 box traps, which we’ve also deployed in the alpine zones.
We now have 44 xDOC 200 and 150 traps (68 if you count the double traps), 13 Goodnature A24 traps, 10 Trapinator traps and 6 live cat traps deployed in the Homer-Gertrude area in addition to 21 traps over in the Bowen valley plus another 2 to go in on my next visit.
Is this all worthwhile you might ask? Well, we are fortunate to have iris monitoring the RWs and she tells me they are doing well and she is finding more nests all the time in the surrounding boulder fields. We now have stats for several years and without trap protection there is zero success of RW fledglings, 2 years ago it was 96% success and last season 40% and fingers crossed it will be higher this year.
I’ve had 3 visits to Homer on our conservation project since spring with Alastair Macdonald, chairman of Permolat Southland as my assistant. I’d like to acknowledge his invaluable contribution towards our work there. I’d also like to acknowledge the great help of Lindsay Wilson, chief biodiversity officer of DOC for his assistance.
The Milford Alliance is getting a conservation initiative off the ground in the upper Hollyford from Monkey Flat up to Homer. Kevin Thompson and his team are keen to get their project started and I’ve met with him and offered our assistance.
Lastly, thank you all for your support. I think we are making gains in the critical state of our local fauna.
Posted By: Narina Sutherland