Ducks Unlimited NZ

Displaying items by tag: Volunteers

Monday, 22 July 2019 14:47

Trapline volunteers

Eleven volunteers from the New Plymouth branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers spent a day out of the office as they helped replace over 90 stoat traps along the Curtis Falls Track in the Egmont National Park.

The old traps came out of the boxes and new stainless steel ones went in. Replacing a line like this can take a couple of weeks so the volunteers really made a difference. With each person carrying six traps in and another six out as well as some tough climbs along the way, it was a big day.

This trap line protects the whio living along streams and rivers such as the Maketawa and they form a network that covers around 7000 hectares. Last year was a record year for whio ducklings in the Park with 33 ducklings hatching in the wild.
Another volunteer, Ian Street enjoys the Onaero Domain where he spends a lot of time at his Onaero beach batch and helps out by looking after a trapline and keeping an eye on weeds in the local reserve.
A whitefaced heron also enjoys the Onaero Domain and batch dwellers say he’s been around for about 14 years. “He had a mate,”said Ian, “but she died some time ago.

Recently though he’s found another.” 
The heron seems to know when Ian’s at home. He walks up to the front door and taps on the door. “He visits regularly,” said Ian. “I give him a little bit of fresh mince sometimes and away he goes.”

Whitefaced herons are New Zealand’s most common heron. They arrived from Australia in the 1940s so they’re considered native. This one’s been around long enough to be called a local.


Published in Issue 159
Sunday, 25 February 2018 22:43

A hand at Hexam Swamp

WetlandCare Australia’s (WCA) merger with Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) had immediate benefits for a 20 Million Trees project at Hexham Swamp.

Two of CVA’s Better Earth teams started work in August to plant 8000 trees at Hexham Swamp. The trees will reinstate Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest in open paddocks at Hunter Water’s Shortland Waste Water Treatment Works. The outcome will be a more biodiverse habitat for wildlife, improved carbon storage to mitigate global warming, and a buffer to reduce urban nutrients entering the Swamp.

The Swamp adjoins Hunter Wetlands Centre and flows into the Hunter Estuary Wetlands Ramsar Site. It is listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia, and is part of the Hunter Estuary Important Bird Area.

WCA Hunter’s Senior Project Officer Tim Mouton said, “Thanks to Paul Davidson and his trusty tractor, the preparation on the site proceeded well and we were ready to start. The site had been slashed, sprayed and deep ripped, so planting was forward.”

Wild cattle were found on site, so a temporary electric fence was installed to make sure the precious plants are not trampled or disturbed. WetlandCare Australia working with Local Land Service’s will have the cattle removed.
Published in Issue 165
Sunday, 25 February 2018 22:23

Volunteers by the score

A great number of volunteers were involved in native plantings at Tawharanui Open Sanctuary this last winter season.

Working on quite a steep slope, there were around 92 volunteers with 4000 plants to go in. It took just under three and a half hours to complete.

Afterwards the traditional bbq lunch that follows is really worth waiting for!

In the photos the wider view shows earlier plantings on the right, from the past two years.

The plantings in the brown (hopefully dead) Kikuyu grass on the left have all been done in the four planting days this last season.

All up it adds up to 20,000 plants for the year.
At Tawharanui the policy is to plant out the steep sidings so there are plenty more still to be done!

All seed is sourced from the local bush there and propagated in the Tawharanui Nursery where each week volunteers attend to the seedlings. They do a grand job and really enjoy their potting days - especially the morning teas!

Patte Williams.

Infill planting
Our planting photos often do not have much green in them because we are planting where there has been Kikuyu and it has to be sprayed out first. Infill planting in a wetland that has more colour.

Alison Stanes.
Published in Issue 165