In December “First Word in Fauna” was contracted by Bay of Plenty Regional Council to do a bird count survey and compare results with previous surveys done at the start of the pest control project. Eight volunteers assisted with the survey following a training session - thanks to them for taking part. Although the results were difficult to compare with previous surveys as they were conducted at different times of the year and by different observers with varying experience, much useful information was gained. A good number of keystone bird species were monitored during the project and it was determined that kereru, bellbird, tui and silvereye could all be used as indicator species for sustaining bush vitality in the Tikitapu Scenic Reserve. Tomtit could also be used as an indicator species for bush intactness in the Tikitapu Scenic Reserve as it is sensitive to environmental changes in its habitat. It is intended to repeat the bird monitoring again in November.
This year it is required that we submit a Work Plan to DoC for approval. Once this is granted the programme for the year will be formulated. It is I would like to thank all the volunteers involved in 2010. This project would not exist without your input and it is very satisfying to see the improvement in the bush and mistletoe, and the increase in birdlife. I would also like to thank DoC and BPRC for their input and guidance with the project, and BPRC for once again supplying the ingredients for the BBQ for the volunteers, following the clearance of the bait stations in December.
If anyone would like to become involved in this project in 2011, I would be delighted to hear from you.
Reasonable fitness is required for the working bees in the reserve, but there are also other jobs to be done such as helping pack the baits, rat tracking, and checking and maintaining the Mistletoe and Nature walks.
Frances and James Blakely
Ph 362 8480