EASTER SATURDAY WORKING BEE
Join the gang in the Spit Forest to help clear kahili ginger. Thousands of square meters of this vigorous weed have been cleared over the last couple of years – come and see the difference that has been made while helping us to clean up the little seedlings and odd patches that we have yet to clear.
When? Easter Saturday 9-11am
Where? Logan’s track – off Madeleine’s track. Look for the cones on the main beach track from the carpark and turn right. Walk Madeleine’s track until you see another safety cone turn left – that is Logan’s track. Walk 200 meters along that track and you will find us. (Call Chris if you are confused, ph 021 418 119.)
Bring: closed shoes, garden gloves, sunhat, water and bug spray.
HOT CROSS BUNS AFTERWARDS!
IT’S A MEGAMAST YEAR! (OK. BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN…?)
The word is out – 2019 is going to be a “megamast’ year. Forest & Bird explain this very well:
“In a ‘mast’ year, trees experience extremely heavy flowering, fruiting and seeding. Historically this would trigger an abundance of food for native wildlife to make up for lean years. But now mast events boost rodent numbers, and in turn stoat numbers. When the seed or fruit is gone, the plague of predators turn to our native birds, bats, lizards and insects. Depending on your forest type, the real crunch moment is when the fruit rots or the seed germinates, and suddenly a plethora of rats are very hungry!
This year has been labelled a ‘megamast’ because both beech and podocarp forests are masting at the same time across most of the country. It also follows a heavy fruiting of broadleaf species, which has fuelled a summer abundance of birds, but also of rats.”
What can we do?
- We keep trapping and baiting, but we check our traplines more frequently.
- We will install some extra traps around the perimeter of our village where the forestry area meets the native bush – this is where we will see a lot of predator traffic.
- We are going to rely on EVERYONE getting involved in backyard trapping. Predator Free NZ has a great page with a super-easy guide to get you started.
- Clear out weeds and rubbish in your garden – don’t give the little devils easy nesting places.
- Visit Goodnature to source automatically resetting possum and rat traps, Predator Free NZ to buy Doc200 box traps and traps.co.nz for bait stations, traps and bait.
- Donate to ORRA – please consider a financial contribution to our pest control programme. Our volunteers are out on the traplines every week, personally buying eggs for the traps and doing the hard yards scraping dead things out of traps. Here are our bank details and membership forms, we would be very grateful for your financial help if you are not able to help out physically.
FINAL DOTTEREL COUNT FOR 2018-2019 BREEDING SEASON
Here is a summary of the season as provided by Glenda Betts:
Ohui 7 NZD fledged, Wharekawa sandpit and mid-beach 9 NZD fledged = total 16 NZD fledged
NB: Fledgling time depends on how much food the chicks get. More disturbance = slower growth rate of chicks. 28 days for egg to hatch + 28-30 days for chick to fledge
The final 4 chicks hatched late-January and early-february – took 6 & 7 weeks to fledge.
BRUCE’S BAY BRIDGE
Thanks to Chips Jones for replacing rotten wood, repairing the bridge’s sub-structure and finishing the job with a brand new coat of yellow paint. The causeway is looking wonderful after some epic working bees and now the little bridge itself has been given the VIP treatment. Thanks to everyone who has been involved in this project.
A WORD FROM THE FIRE CHIEF
Thanks to Jo Adams and the team at the Onemana Rural Fire Force for keeping an eye on Opoutere during the recent dry months. It has been fantastic to see the big, yellow unimog patrolling the area and keeping us all safe.
Jo has a message for Opoutere: Even though the summer fire ban period has ended the surrounding forests are still very dry and a fire risk. Please take care and don’t hesitate to call 111 if you have any concerns about a fire in the open.
DRIVE SAFELY EVERYONE, HAPPY EASTER!