The latest news from Project Island Song...

Unwanted invasive lizard species in the Bay of Islands

The plague skink (Lampropholis delicata), sometimes known as rainbow skink, is a small lizard introduced to New Zealand from Australia. Although smaller than native skinks, they do look very similar.

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Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work! Thanks to Rana, Viki and the REP team who have worked tirelessly over Christmas/New Year as camp hosts, as well as maintaining tracks, biosecurity monitoring, pest incursions - and that's when they're not responding to all sorts of call outs on the mainland as part of the Rawhiti Rural Fire/First Response Unit. Viki organised a mannequin challenge at all the Urupukapuka campgrounds on New Year's Eve. Check it out here!

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You can help bring home another of the Bay's rare native birds

We need your help to return the endangered kakariki (red-crowned parakeet) to the Bay of Islands in June this year.

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Pest and stray pet alert!

It has been a very busy season with pest incursions and unwanted pet visitors on the island wildlife sanctuaries. Since Christmas, the fortnightly island checks have detected pest-mammal foot prints and dead rats in traps which triggered our pest incursion response operations. To maintain the islands’ pest-free status this response included the setting up of extra tracking tunnels, rat traps on Poroporo, Urupukapuka and Okahu, and rodent dog surveillance work.

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Planters needed

The cooler months herald the planting season for Project Island Song. So if you've always wanted to get your hands dirty with a spot of native tree planting, or you've enjoyed volunteering with us before, come join us!

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Good news - reintroduced bird species are doing well

Early indications from recent monitoring tell us that all the reintroduced bird species are doing well. We're seeing fledglings being fed by parents and unbanded pateke, toutouwai, tieke and popokotea are being recorded on Motuarohia, Moturua and Urupukapuka.

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Seasons greetings to all

Another year has flown by for Project Island Song - and its been a productive and enjoyable one, tinged with sadness with the tragic loss of one of our kaimahi in January. We've planted a further 4000 trees and reintroduced more toutouwai and popokotea to Urupukapuka and Moturua. Our volunteers have made weekly trips to bust weeds and monitor birds - with promising results. We're into our third year of Floating Classrooms, providing hands on environmental education for local schools. And you may have seen us at community events including the Waimate Show and Christmas parades.If you'd like to visit the islands with family and friends, the Explore ferry and Fullers GreatSights Island Adventurer run regular trips over summer. But please remember to check all your gear before you leave home for any pests - rats, mice, plague skinks or Argentine ants.

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Volunteer species monitoring

Whether you are a burgeoning naturalist or an experienced birdwatcher, Project Island Song has a number of monitoring projects that you can be part of, and help make a success of.

Throughout the Spring we have been out on the islands most Tuesdays to carry out monitoring of reintroduced species. Through the summer we'll be locating and mapping birds’ breeding territories, before post breeding monitoring in Autumn. Some of our most valuable volunteer contributions also occur at home, where data entry and reporting are crucial to the success of many of our projects. If you are keen to take part, please let us know.

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Discover Our New Website

We've launched our vibrant new website.

The first thing you may have noticed is a spruced-up home page, along with an updated design across the site. We really wanted to make it easier for you to find the information that you are looking for. Take a closer look:

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Tūturiwhatu (NZ dotterel) are breeding

Check out this cute chick which was spotted last week in Opunga Bay on Moturua Island. With only about 1500 tūturiwhatu/NZ dotterels left on the planet, they are the rarest bird that we have in the Bay of Islands. We are now in the dotterel breeding season (September to March). Dotterels could be nesting on any of the beaches in the Bay, and they need our help:

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