Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2020

Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2020

We started the day with a warm welcome from Tom Roa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura) to everyone in the hall and a karakia to bless the day’s proceedings. Thank you, Tom for your sincere welcome.
Something I forgot to mention on the day, but worth noting here, is the Te Pahu Hall is one of the few community owned (not Council owned) halls left in the district and run by a group of stalwart volunteers.
We then had a delicious morning tea in the supper room which was catered by three dedicated volunteers from the Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society, who also did lunch for us too. Thank you so much for the delicious food, and beautiful flowers on the tables – that extra touch was lovely and much appreciated by all.
We then moved back into the main hall for the morning’s presentations.
Bala Tikkisetty, Waikato Regional Council, outlined the programme for the day – a PDF of which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page (0. Waikato Landcare Networking Field Day).
Our first speaker was Sam Mcelwee, Waikato Biodiversity Forum, who spoke about Flagship species and how this has been successful for the Pirongia Restoration Society. He then asked for ideas from the floor for potential flagship species for Waiwhakareke National Heritage Park, and a list was compiled for him to take away and consider. A PDF of Sam’s presentation can be downloaded from the bottom of the page (1. Flagship Waiwhakereke presentation). Sam is also the Coordinator for the Waiwhakereke Natural Heritage Park and the Waikato Trees that Count Coordinator.

Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2020

Due to unavoidable circumstances, our next speaker Mark Brough, was not present on the day. Mark was going to present an overview the predator free programme and pest monitoring and management on his farm. Mark and Felicity Brough are sheep and beef farmers near Aria and were the Waikato Reginal Supreme Winners at the 2020 BFEA Awards in April this year. You can see a video and read more about their property here: https://www.nzfeatrust.org.nz/great-farming-stories/id/878. Afterwards, Mark provided some notes from his presentation and a PDF can be downloaded from the bottom of this page (2. Mark’s Summary Notes).
Our next speaker, Andy Saunders from Whiriwhiri Landcare and Whakaupoko Landcare groups was unfortunately unable to attend at the last minute. He sent through some notes which we read and we briefly explored the Trap.NZ Franklin Predator Free website to which he directed us as well. A PDF of Andy’s notes are available for download at the bottom of this page (3. Predator Free Franklin).
Judy van Rossum, Waikato Regional Council, gave a presentation on Funding for biodiversity projects available from the Waikato Regional Council’s Natural Heritage Fund and others, and a PDF of the presentation and handout that was available on the day can be downloaded from the bottom of this page (4. WRC Slides about NHPP – Nov 2020, and 5. WRC – NHPP brochure 18 Nov 2020).
All the speakers arrived for the next presentation which was “Leading the way with the next generation” and we were fortunate to have the Principals from both Te Pahu School (Meegan Dunn) and Pirongia School (Jan Cullen), as well as two students from Pirongia School (Bradley Shaw and Kade Seerup) who attended to talk about the work they have been doing alongside Clare and the Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society.

Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2020

Tom Roa also spoke and shared a great story about how some people know of Pirongia as a female mountain who was married to Maungatautari, while others know of Pirongia as a male who was married to Taupiri. Tom and Clare then spoke about some recent funding (from the DV Bryant Trust) they have received to develop environmental education resources relating to Pirongia Maunga. An educational day was recently held at Purekireki Marae as part of PRS’s collaboration with the Marae and Nimbus Media for some local primary school students to learn more about local stories. So exciting times ahead for everyone. A heartfelt thanks to the students and Principals for coming and talking to us about their learning.
The networking session was then held and everyone was invited by Nardene Berry, NZ Landcare Trust, to get into smaller groups with people they didn’t necessarily know, and undertake a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis around group health (keeping groups healthy and strong). The hall was buzzing with people sharing their knowledge and experience during the time we had, and then groups were invited to share some of the key points they had brainstormed during this session with the others afterwards. Photos of all of the different group’s SWOT analyses are included as a PDF which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page (6. all SWOT pages) and as a reference if you would like to see other group’s ideas.
Then the final presentation for the morning session was given by Clare St Pierre, Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society, “Ecological corridor across the Waipa District – can we expect kokako and hihi to use it as a launching pad into the wider landscape?” A PDF of Clare’s presentation can be downloaded from the bottom of this page (7. PRS Presentation Ecological Corridor 202011).
We then had a well-deserved lunch break in the supper room and during this time chose one of the options for the field trip on the mountain and organised car-pooling where we could. We then reconvened at the shelter at the top of Grey Road.

Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2020

A big thank you to Gerry and Eva for packing away the chairs in the hall while everyone else was on the field trip, and to the volunteer caterers who also stayed behind and cleared up too.
Out in the field, we had volunteers from the Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society lead four different options for the afternoon. One was a guided walk around the Mangakaara loop, another was a trapping talk along one of the trap lines along the Mahaukura track, the third was an opportunity to learn more about native plant propagation and the care of native plants, and the final opportunity was to see a kokako nesting site. This last option was understandably popular, but we put the welfare of the birds first, and only five people at a time were allowed to go. Groups had to be extremely quiet and the visit was under the condition that people were not to share the location with others who could potentially disturb the birds at a later date.

Karen Barlow, Predator Free Hamilton and Cambridge, shared some points from the trapping option on the day. Led by Brian, there was lots of sharing of ideas from everyone involved. Her notes follow:
“Scuff the dirt in front of the trap box entrance to create interest for predators. A good Cam Speedy (trap guru) tip.
Raw whole eggs are a good bait to use. They are long-lasting (up to a month) so if other bait is eaten by insects/mice, the egg is still there. They are a good bait for stoats as they are very visual. White eggs are very reflective in the moonlight too. Golf balls, ping pong balls are also sometimes used too. Eggs covered in chicken poop and feathers are the best to use.
Meat lures are enticing but don't last long. Rotting meat may be a deterrent, so it needs to be changed frequently. Work well if the meat is suspended from top of trap box to prevent it from getting too manky and probably allows the scent to be distributed further. Meat is a good bait for stoats.
Ensure the mesh entrance hole is free from sharp edges as predators don't like scraping themselves against rough edges.
A dead rat or dead stoat make the best bait for other predators.
Trap setting tools are good for Doc200s and are essential for Doc250s. The trap box or hinge can be modified to ensure the trap tool works better. Mark from Owhango has a local guy that has made his own version which is very good and cheaper than the CMI Springs one.
Rats are neophobic (fear of new things), so may take a while to enter a new trap. Once the scent of a rat is inside the box, this entices more rats into the box.
Always use the safety clips on the Doc200s/250s traps to prevent injury. Particularly important if checking traps by yourself and in remote locations.
Periodically check the sensitivity of your Doc200/250 by using weights to trigger the foot plate.
Take a Kit with you for checking traps which include safety clips, trap setting tool, gloves, screwdriver for getting into boxes, notebook, weights, cleaning equipment (toothbrush etc). Count kit equipment too at the end (in case you've left a safety clip on a trap!).
Attach a ribbon to the handle of the Doc200/250 and hang it outside the trap box. When the trap is set the ribbon is long. When the trap has been sprung, the ribbon will be short. Quick visual clue to check traps from a distance if you're not re-baiting.
Good information in the Doc trapping guideline book for trap maintenance etc https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/pests-and-threats/predator-free-2050/toolkit-predator-free-2050/practical-guide-to-trapping/”

Thank you, Karen, for compiling these notes.

Thank you to the Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society for co-hosting the event with us, and to everyone who attended our annual networking day. Thank you too to those that completed an evaluation form on the day. If you didn’t get a chance to, and would like to give us feedback about the day, please do so here:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=qC6ktXQavk2xV2wof8syDF_6aP9LjqZDmIrZm6c7Tf9UMTBKV0c0RzhOWjlNRldLUUxKRlFVT1I5QS4u

We hope you enjoyed it and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s event.

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