Track and huts
Volunteer hut wardens
Flora and fauna
Where has all the whitebait gone?
DOC ranger catches car thief
Oroua stoatline volunteer coordinator needed
Out and about
Living Legends planting in the Manawatu Gorge
Muaupoko whanau planting at Lake Horowhenua
Potting on pingao
It's raining birds
Environmental Education Action Fund
The Outlook for Someday - sustainability on film
Schools saving sand dunes
Construction of the track to the new gateway at Oroua carpark
- Work to upgrade the Peterson’s and Limestone roadend car parks is almost complete. Scrub has been cleared from the Limestone Road car park, an old fence has been removed and the carpark has been levelled and metalled.The Oroua carpark at Peterson’s roadend now features a picnic table, a toilet and a new iron gate has replaced the stile. The area will be planted with natives eco-sourced from neighbouring farmland, thanks to the generosity of landowners Ian and Marilyn Angove.
- Planning is underway to develop the track to the large totara tree near the Ballance end of the Manawatu Gorge track. A boardwalk around the tree is being considered as part of the plans.
- Work to finish the upgrade of the Sunrise Track and fix wash-outs is expected to be finished by mid-July.
- Heretaunga Tramping Club supplied twenty sacks of coal to the popular Howletts Hut. This club maintains Howletts and Waikamaka huts and would appreciate hut fee donations to help cover costs.
The new location of tap on the water tank at Purity Hut
- Some general maintenance has been carried out at Purity Hut. The track to the toilet has been cleaned up, the tap on the water tank has been moved to make it accessible from the deck, and vent covers have been installed.
- Donation boxes have been installed at the beginning of Rangiwahia Hut track, the Oroua valley tracks at Peterson’s Roadend, and either end of the Manawatu Gorge Track. Another will be installed at the beginning of the Sunrise Hut track. Any donations collected will be put towards conservation work in the area. If you are visiting one of these areas, remember not to leave money in your vehicle - put it in the donation box instead!
We are planning to implement a volunteer hut warden system for the serviced huts in the Ruahine Forest Park (Longview, Sunrise and Rangiwahia).
Expressions of interest in being part of the Ruahine volunteer hut warden programme are welcome - ring Kelly on +64 6 3509708 or email email@example.com.
Please note that Sunrise is currently the only hut with warden’s quarters.
A view of the vegetation at Omarupapako from atop a dune
- The fence around Omarupapako / Roundbush Scenic Reserve is currently being repaired . This reserve features a swampy area within one of the last remnants of coastal forest in the region. It is an important cultural site, and kiekie is harvested from the reserve by local hapu. A restoration planting programme has been underway since 2000, removing pine trees and planting the dunes and flats. Keeping stock out of the reserve is a major step in protecting the area as the native vegetation regenerates.
- The contractors carrying out goat control in the southern Ruahine Forest Park have completed their work for the year. The good news is that only a small number of goats (11) were found.
- A New Zealand fur seal made its way into a residential garage at Himatangi Beach. DOC staff found the visitor resting on top of a washing machine. They seal was taken back to the beach, where it made a dash for the ocean. With the rough seas, it is likely that quite a few seals will seek refuge onshore. Please remember to leave them to rest and keep dogs and vehicles away.
A good whitebait catch from 2002
Whitebait season begins on 15th August, so before you get your nets out and prepare for the season, join a community hui about protecting the whitebait fishery for the future.
From 6.30pm on the evening of Wednesday 3 August, Stella McQueen - a Masters student at Massey University studying to be a freshwater ecologist - will be at the Te Kawau Memorial Recreation Centre in Rongotea to talk about the whitebait fishery. It is open to anyone who is interested.Supper will be provided.
One of our rangers was working in the western entrance of the Manawatu Gorge Scenic Reserve on June 15, when he spotted a dubious character breaking into vehicles in the car park across the road. Our stealthy sleuth called the police and was able to give them a good description, resulting in the thief’s arrest.
Volunteer trap checkers on the Oroua stoatline in October 2008
Do you want to help protect whio (blue duck) in the Oroua catchment? Are you a good communicator and organiser?
A volunteer coordinator is needed to help organise monthly checks on the Oroua Blue Duck Protection Project stoatline.
This project was started by the Manawatu branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association, and now includes over 300 traps to catch stoats throughout the Oroua catchment. The project has grown over time, so someone is needed to coordinate volunteer trap checkers. This would involve dealing with enquiries from potential volunteers, scheduling volunteer trips, providing safety briefings, reviewing volunteer information, and possibly helping to promote the project to encourage volunteer interest.
If you can spare a few hours a month and are interested in taking on this challenging but rewarding volunteer role, please call Kelly on +64 6 3509708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wednesday August 3: Forest & Bird Horowhenua - Bird Monitoring, Te Hakari Wetland and Kuku Beach. Contact Geoff Monk +64 6 3645986 or Barbara Simons +64 6 3647197 to register your interest.
- Wednesday August 10: Forest & Bird Rangitikei Public Meeting and talk on Stewart Island by ecologist Dr Gill Rapson. Visitors are welcome.
When: 7.30 p.m.
Where: Milne Room, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Hall, Broadway, Marton
Cost: Gold coin donation
For more information, contact Diana Stewart +64 6 3278064 or Dot Mattocks +64 6 3278790.
- Friday August 12: Dr Trisia Farelly: ‘Environment’ and ‘sustainability’: a view from anthropology. The sixth talk in the "Environmental Issues and Debates: Massey talks Sustainability" series.
Time: 12.30 to 1.30pm
Venue: Sound and Vision Zone,
Palmerston North City Library
Light refreshments provided.
- Saturday August 20 – Saturday August 27: Keep New Zealand Beautiful "Clean up week" . Choose your site then register your clean up at www.knzb.org.nz. Free gloves and bags provided.
Contact Anne Heaphy, Urban Care, on +64 6 3579018.
- Saturday September 10: Rata planting in the Manawatu Gorge between 9am and 12pm. Contact Kelly on +64 6 3509708 to register your interest.
Living Legends is taking the field to the forest during New Zealand’s hosting of Rugby World Cup 2011 on Saturday 1 October. Join the celebration of our special landscape by getting involved in the Manawatu planting day. Organisers need an idea of numbers to arrange transport, catering, and equipment for the event so it is really important to register at www.livinglegends.co.nz if you think you’d like to be involved.
On Sunday July 24, the Muaupoko Whanau planting event is to be held at Lake Horowhenua. Parking is on Moutere Road, and whanau will be planting by Hokio Stream. All are welcome. The festivities will begin with a karakia at 6am. There will be a bonfire with Puuoro (Maori flute) and African drums. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, with spot prizes throughout the day. Horizons Regional Council donated native trees to be planted on the day.
Two for one pest trapping in the Manawatu Gorge
Here is a sight to please bird lovers in the Manawatu Gorge.
Erin Bray, first time volunteer trap checker, was confronted with the unlikely situation of two rats caught in the same trap.
Erin and her partner Jessie Willson were on a trap checking training run in the Manawatu Gorge with Nick Green and Paul Geange. Nick and Paul are regulars from the Ashhurst Stoat Monitoring Group - a bunch of volunteers who check the 10km trap line along the Manawatu Gorge Track each fortnight.
After demonstrating clearing and setting a few traps, they left Erin to climb down a bank to do her first check on her own and moved onto the next traps. With no witnesses, Erin took this photo as she was sure no-one would believe her.
Love New Zealand this Conservation Week. Contact us to discuss your ideas for events to join the celebration from 11 - 18 September 2011.
Thanks to the dedication and green fingers of Barbara Elliott (also known as Faye’s mum), we have thousands of pingao seedlings that need to be potted on into root training trays. These pingao plants will eventually be planted at local beaches by school children as part of our Seeds for Schools initiative.
A working bee will be held at the DOC yard on Saturday 20 August, from 2pm. If you are keen to be involved in this, contact Kelly on +64 6 3509708 or email email@example.com.
This broad-billed prion was one of the first birds brought to to DOC Manawatu Rangitikei office to be transferred to Massey Wildlife Centre
The recent bout of wild weather brought with it a strange sort of rain. A mass of exhausted broad-billed prions (Pachyptila vittata) fell from the sky, some as far inland as Tokomaru and Linton.
These small seabirds are typically found in the southern ocean, but the storms that buffeted the lower North Island in early July blew a flock of them off-course.
Over 2000 birds were taken to SPCA branches, vet clinics, bird rescue centres and DOC offices all along the country’s west coast. Many of the birds were exhausted and hypothermic. Massey Wildlife Centre provided a warm safe place for over 600 seabirds to recover before releasing some of the survivors on the coast. 85 remain at the centre to recover their water-wings.
The next round of WWF’s Environmental Education Action Fund closes on 1 September. This is a contestable fund that provides grants to schools and community groups who, as part of their learning, are taking action for the environment. Information on funding criteria and how to apply is on their website: www.wwf.org.nz
This is a national film challenge for New Zealand’s young people. Make a short film (up to 5 minutes) about sustainability, either individually or in a team.
- Any genre, any camera
- For participants up to 24 years old
- Entries close September 30th 2011
For more info, check out www.theoutlookforsomeday.net
Ngamoko Hut is one of 58 in the Ruahine Forest Park hut network
Does your group have a favourite hut in the Ruahine? With nearly 60 huts in the Ruahine Forest Park, there is a great opportunity for local community groups to help maintain the Ruahine hut network into the future.
Any legal entity (e.g. charitable trust, incorporated society, or business) with an interest in looking after a hut in the Ruahine Forest Park should contact Andrew Mercer to discuss options. Phone him on +64 6 3509710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any enthusiastic individuals that want to help with track and hut maintenance can join the volunteer register to work alongside DOC staff. Register online or call Kelly on +64 6 3509708 to request a volunteer registration form.
Thanks to senior students, staff and parents from Bainesse, Colyton and Oroua Downs schools, there are now around 750 more pingao (golden sand sedge) plants at Manawatu Estuary.
The beach plantings are part of the Seeds for Schools programme, in which local schools learn about sand dune ecology and grow native sand binding grasses - usually pingao - from seed to be planted on the dunes of our local beaches.
A planting at Tangimoana Beach with Kimbolton School is planned for Wednesday 24 August. If you’d like to join in with this planting day, contact Kelly - phone +64 6 3509708 or email email@example.com.