Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brook Sanctuary Field Trip

On Monday the 13th June the REACH Inquiry groups 1 and 2 drove to the Waimarama Brook Sanctuary. We wanted to find out more about our native birds, the situation they are in and what is being done here in Nelson to help them. Rick the project manager talked to us about the pests here in Nelson. Possums, stoats, weasels, ferrel cats, rats and mice are eating our native birds and their eggs, last year alone 26 million native birds were killed in NZ by these pests. Stoats which were bought over from Europe are not a pest there because they have natural predators to keep their numbers down, however in NZ the stoat really does not have any predators. They were bought to NZ to try to decrease the number of rabbits and hares as they were a problem for farmers. Rick showed us how the different traps work, the problem with trapping though is that the volunteers have to keep setting them and that they are only set over 200 of the 715 hectare sanctuary. Eggs are used as bait, the eggs are kindly donated by Ewings poultry as the stoats will only eat fresh eggs. The traps must work in a way that will mean the pest dies instantly. Sometimes Picks peanut butter is used on traps, this is also donated by Picks. You can help by supporting these two local companies by buying Picks peanut butter and Ewings eggs. Poisons can also be used but the native birds can also eat it.
Rick then took us to see a sample section of the pest proof fence they are planning on putting up. The fence is a better option because
*this is the only way the pests can be completely removed.
*it will enclose the whole 715 hectares of the sanctuary.
*Poisons will not need to be used.
We all went for a 45minute walk, looked for traps and listened to the birds. We were lucky enough to see a falcon soaring above us, fantails, pigeons, tui and bellbirds.
We also saw a frozen opossum, they are frozen once trapped so that their fur can be used for clothing.
We had a great morning, learnt lots and now have many ideas of how we can help. Next week we will blog our ideas of what we are going to do to help and how you can help to.!!!

1 comment:

  1. What a great post REACH team! I really like how this was so informative and you could share what you had learned to clearly... This is very well written. :-)