The Field Journal - June - Predator Free Whangarei

The Field Journal – June

This month’s field journal was written by Biosecurity Officer, Gaelyn Dewhurst

It has been a very busy couple of months in the ngahere and farmlands of Whangārei Heads.

With our operations going live in April we continue our hard work relentlessly servicing the bait stations and kill traps in our first working area. Once our devices are live, meaning traps are active and bait stations are filled with toxin, the ball must keep rolling to ensure the devices are always set and ready to catch the possums.

The onset of the winter months has provided some new challenges in the field. From the wet and muddy paddocks to the slippery slopes of Bream Head and Taurikura maunga – no matter how hard it gets I keep a smile on my face and remember how grateful I am to be doing something I am so passionate about.

One of my favourite jobs we do as field staff is servicing our trail cameras and then classifying the images we find. It is always interesting to see what goes on in the forest at night. We are lucky that we have a very high population of Kiwi in Whangarei Heads and it shows with the results of our classifying – both kiwi and possums are frequently detected. This month I even found a kiwi and a possum in the same shot!

We have had the privilege of Matua Winiwini Kingi joining our field team on the ground lately and he has provided some amazing education around te ao Māori and sharing his knowledge of the bush and the local area.

Outside of our usual mahi a small group from our team got to travel down to Wellington last month to attend the Predator Free 2050 National Conference. It provided an awesome opportunity to connect with different Predator Free groups around Aotearoa and share successes and challenges alike.

A few of our field team members have also been helping out the local Backyard Kiwi group and have volunteered some hours to do kiwi listening. A vital part in monitoring the kiwi population and get an idea of how effective predator control methods are working. It is always great to work in collaboration with the local conservation groups and help support them in any way we can.

Until next time, Ka Kite!

July 4, 2022