Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Wanaka conservation project prepares for beech mast

Wanaka conservation project prepares for beech mast

South Island Robin Feeding Chick

Pest control by the West Matukituki conservation project is even more crucial now a beech mast is predicted next year.

Beech trees are currently flowering heavily across the country and could potentially lead to a plague of predators next year, putting native species in areas like Mt Aspiring National Park at risk. These include mōhua/yellowhead, blue duck/whio, South Island robin/kakaruai, and South Island long-tailed bat/pekapeka

The joint Matukituki Valley Protection project between the Matukituki Charitable Trust and the Department of Conservation (DOC) kicked off in July this year and aims to reduce pest numbers in the valley to benefit threatened native wildlife. The most efficient and cost effective pest control programme is being developed to protect native species.

Matukituki trustees Derek and Gillian Crombie have recruited volunteers to help with pest control management and monitoring of beech seed fall. They will be setting out seed funnels early next year to collect beech seeds to predict the onset and timing of the mast and potential rodent and stoat plagues.

“If monitoring shows a rise in these populations, we have a number of pest control options to manage the situation to prevent an increase in rat, mouse and stoat numbers from next winter,” DOC Wanaka ranger Flo Gaud said.

The group has built 140 tracking tunnels and set them out in the valley, providing baseline data on rat and mouse numbers. The tunnels will be checked again in February to estimate the rat population trend.

Pest trapping is being carried out by DOC hut wardens in the Matukituki Valley, including ex- ranger Stu Thorne who is also a volunteer for the project. The wardens check the 52 traps for stoats, rats and hedgehogs every three weeks. Traps around Aspiring Hut are also catching feral cats and possums.

If predator populations can be reduced to very low numbers, the optimum long-term aim of the project is to have a haven suitable to introduce other threatened birds species into the valley.

Trustee Gillian Crombie said she hoped the project would eventually expand to include the whole Matukituki catchment, and the trust would work in partnership with other groups doing pest control in the region.

DOC has begun consulting with neighbours and groups such as the Diamond Lake trappers, the Longview Environmental Trust, landowners, the local farming community and businesses to establish an umbrella group to raise funds and work together on pest control, with advice and support from DOC.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Hi and welcome to the 47th edition of Werewolf, published on the eve of Anzac Day. Its become a cliché to describe Gallipolli as the crucible of this country’s identity, yet hold on... Isn’t our national identity supposed to be bi-cultural... and wouldn’t that suggest that the New Zealand Wars of the 19th century is a more important crucible of national identity than those fought on foreign soil?

Yet as Alison McCulloch eloquently reveals in this month’s cover story, New Zealand devotes a mere fraction of its attention span and funding resources to commemorating the New Zealand Wars compared to what it devotes to the two world wars, Vietnam and Afghanistan... More>>


Parliament Today:

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>


Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>


ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>


Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>


Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>


Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news