This year we have used wax tags to do the possum monitoring, which has been a much less expensive way of getting an idea of possum numbers in the reserve, when compared with employing a contractor to do trap catch monitoring. The rat tracking continued using the pre inked trakka cards in tunnels.
Our results were:
Rat tracking = 46%
Insects = 40%
Possum = 18% (wax tag)
Rat tracking = 2%
Insects = 50%
Possum = 11% (wax tag)
Although post baiting possum results were higher than in the past, they are still reasonable, as the tags are only 10 m apart and it is quite possible that a possum will bite several tags.
This year the baits were out in the stations for a shorter time to give a more concentrated attack and to have the stations clear over the school holidays and Labour weekend.
They were all topped up after 2 weeks (including with Feratox®) and emptied 2 weeks later.
The bird counts were done in November.
First Word in Fauna has been contracted by Bay of Plenty Regional Council to run the bird counts and is now processing the data. Our thanks to Rod Stace and his team of volunteers who took part in this, specially to Rod who has put a lot of time and effort into this project and marked out all the listening posts and directions to them.
The Mistletoe and Nature walks were maintained by a group of volunteers on a monthly roster. If anyone else would like to join this roster next year please let me know.
We appreciate the support and guidance given to this project from the Department of Conservation and the Regional Council. The Regional Council also kindly supplied a BBQ for the volunteers clearing the bait stations.
Thanking you again and best wishes for a very happy Christmas and New Year.
Ph 3628 480