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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
Weed-busting: Another productive year
Weeds are a growing problem. To help protect the islands against weed infestation, the Project Island Song team have developed and are now implementing a long-term weed management plan. The plan identifies how best to tackle priority weeds, and allows us to strategically control or eradicate existing weeds and prevent new ones arriving. Nasties such as moth plant, tobacco weed and boneseed are just some of the weeds that will be targeted by the Project Island Song Weedbusters. Thanks to Barbara Parris, Jocelyn Powell, Tim Armitage, Rod Brown, Theresa Vujcich, Fleur Corbett, with input from DOC and NRC staff to develop the strategy.
Paihia Summer Festival
8 to 14 January 2017
Eight days of fun free events for families to enjoy, for locals and visiting families alike! Awesome fun for the whole family during the long summer holidays at no charge – Full programme of events can be found here