Lots more plants in the ground
Our 2016 planting season was very successful with a further 4000 plants in the ground. Island planting is a logistical challenge for all involved - transporting plants and people over water. And this year we increased to five separate planting sites on Urupukapuka and Moturua.
Our annual mass planting with 90 people at Squid Bay on Urupukapuka went very well. Then in Mid-August we planted several hundred plants along “Stock Dam Creek” a sheltered new site behind Entico Bay which may well be our best site ever. This area had been browsed by rogue sheep and hardly a seedling existed, even by the impoverished standards of Urupukapuka, where there are only a handful of seed sources after years of browsing and “match stick” farming.
The three physically separated sites at Entico Bay together total less than 4 ha but they “pepper pot” a much wider area and will provide future seed sources for natural regeneration in the sheltered northern eastern part of the island as the plants mature.
This coming season we plan to plant behind the camp site at Urupukapuka Bay which, together with Squid Bay and Ihumatea Bay, will also give us three dispersed sites totalling about 5 ha in the southern part of the island, and in time will provide seed sources for some of the less accessible manuka and kanuka clad unfarmed areas.
Project Island Song acknowledges the work done by private landowners on the islands. Not only have they planted tens of thousands of trees, they're also actively engaged in island biosecurity. We really appreciate their commitment to keeping the islands pest free, weed management, and helping with the habitat restoration and species reintroductions.