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Pest Trapping Workshop at Southland Community Nursery

The Education Centre and property was the venue for the latest two day NMIT Trapping Workshop on 19-20 October. Under Tutor Steve Price, ten participants went through the detail of planning a pest trapping operation, pest species characteristics and behaviours, legal requirements, trap types and operation and then sessions in the field setting out traplines with hip chain and compass and setting up a variety of mustelid, rat and possum traps in the bush. Steve was assisted by Kate Hamilton and Tim Exton from DOC who also brought with them a variety of new traps and tools for people to get hand-on experience with. With the indoor and outdoor settings the Community Nursery is a good location to run practical courses like this. Watch out for more courses like this being run in the future. The biodiversity based courses are run through DOC and available by booking - https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/training/field-based-courses/

Another Big Planting Day for Bushy Point, Otatara.

Over 90 people helped plant 1100 local native plants on 11 September 2022. On the previous Friday Otatara Landcare Group committee and helpers put the plants out on-site from Linda and Rays special Bushy Point plants area. On the planting day mist shrouded the site early morning but people and cars filed in from the Bryson Road entrance. Barry gave a welcome and health and safety talk then people split into small groups with planting leaders and headed off to the various planting sites at 10am. As people planted and moved closer to the gathering area, the smell of onions and sausages from the bbq tended by Linda and Cathy came wafting over to the planters. This gave added motivation to get the last remaining plants in and covered by midday!! By then the sun was fully out and made for a glorious day. Barrys organisation of the day was fantastic and just over 1100 plants were planted, adding to the previous 31,000 plants for the site since the year 2000. A new self-guided walk brochure has been made for the site by Cathy Macfie and Helen Duston and is avaiable at the Bryson Road entrance to pick up when you next go for a walk at Bushy Point. Credit: www.otataralandcare.org.nz - check the planting day out here for more photos and lots of other good information.

From Pines to Natives Again for Motopohue/Bluff Hill

Following on from the great predator work and previous restoration plantings done by the Bluff Hill Motopohue Environment Trust, this year sees a stepping up in reclothing the iconic hill in our native forest species. With funding from the national charity, Trees that Count for the propagation of plants by local iwi group Te Tapu o Tane, 50,000 trees will be grown and planted over the next two years - a major step forward. People are invited to take part in a special planting event at Bluff Hill on 10th September, one of a series of nationwide events in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Check it out on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BHMET/.

Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research and Predator Free Rakiura collaborating on world-first predator eradication project

On 5 July 2022 representatives from Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research and Predator Free Rakiura signed a significant research partnership agreement worth a joint $2.8 million over 4 years to work together towards ridding Rakiura/Stewart Island of all major predators - possums, rats, feral cats and hedgehogs.

A predator eradication project of this combined size and complexity has never been attempted before. It will be the biggest island predator eradication ever attempted globally and will also be a world-first predator free project on an inhabited island. Rakiura is around 180,000 hectares in size and has a population of 400 permanent residents. As a haven for native species, a predator-free Rakiura will protect these taonga for generations to come and enable nature and community to thrive.