Okura Bush Autumn Newsletter 2015

Many thanks to Claire Taylor for this wonderful painting of rats sitting on a branch engaged in a serious workshop about rat traps!


Sadly for them Autumn has been a busy time along the traplines with 396 mice, 80 rats and 9 weasels or stoats caught in April alone. We have added a new possum trap, “Possum Master”, and hope to increase our trapping of those very destructive animals as soon as we get some more volunteers.

The graph shows trapping progress for the year so far.

The graph shows trapping progress for the year so far.

Right now, in May, we are laying our ninth trap line and hope to encircle the bush once we have the resources. Resoures mean trappers and traps, but you cannot buy trappers!!! We have twelve volunteers at present but need about 20 more to enable us to increase our trapping area in the bush.

Volunteering to work the trap lines means a commitment of around 2-3 hours a week or once a month or whatever you can manage. You will be given training, some gear, and a line to work with at least one other volunteer so that you can share the workload.

Email or phone Jonathan Baskett, Trapline Co-ordinator, FOOB
jpbaskett@xtra.co.nz 094737846

Kauri dieback disease is always going to be major concern. FOOB executive members partnered up with members of DOC in a workshop on how to minimise the problem in the Okura Bush Scenic Reserve. The disease is caused by a fungus-like organisim which presents in spore form but, in wet conditions, can change to adapt to waterways or mud.

One of the main carriers (vectors) are us, humans, walking through the tracks and picking the spores on our boots from which they drop off again near a Kauri that is healthy. Other vector include animals such as dogs, wild cats, rats, mice, possums and stoats who also kill the birds, insects, gheckos, fish.

Kauri dieback is present in the Okura Bush and we know we have to be careful to clean our boots and poles, use the disinfectant spray, stay on the track, and (sadly) enforce the ‘no dogs’ rule.

The proliferation of weeds – pampas grass, ginger, tobacco plant – remains another problem for which FOOB is calling for help. If you don’t like dealing with rats but would like to know about the next weed work-day, please contact Geoff or Lezette Reid:

FOOB wishes you happy walking!

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