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Omaui takes next step in saving it's birds

After having been trapping for possums, mustelids and rats over the last few years, the Omaui Landcare Group now have their sights on another predator, the cat. In the Southland Regional Pest Management Plan, currently out for submissions, the rule has been proposed that domestic cats be neutred and chipped, and that only those cats already living in Omaui be allowed to live out their natural life, with no new ones to be brought in. This is recognising the damage that cats cause to the native birds, lizards and insects living in the bush so close to Omaui township’s back door. The Groups main concern is to eradicate the feral cat population, however they also realise that even the pet moggy can do harm.

Fiordland Trails Trust hit Barberry and Cotoneaster

At the beginning of September, the Fiordland Trails Trust began a war on the weeds, barberry and cotoneaster, growing along the side of the Waiau River. With the development of the bike trail along the upper Waiau River, this has made access to these areas easier, and brought the issue more to light. Keen members of the Trails Trust, lead by Trust weed control manager, Sue Marwick, carried out a days work on a badly infested area at the start of the track near the Marakura Yacht Club. Another volunteer day will be organised in the future, so if you’re a keen ‘weedie’ watch out for this!

Tumu Toka - from the Petrified Forest to the Living Forest

Another large planting session at Curio Bay with over 3,000 natives going in the ground, has seen the South Catlins Charitable Trust complete their restoration plan which joins their forest remnant through to the flaxland on the cliffs looking over the fossilised forest below. Once the shrubs and trees grow up it will provide great habitat for the yellow eyed penguins, that even last year were nesting close to where the work on the new car park and information centre was going on. If you haven’t already visited the new Tumu Toka Curioscape it is well worth a visit, with excellent interpretation of the local wildlife and history. This has all been a great effort by the local people and agencies who have worked together to make it happen. Find out more at www.curioscape.co.nz.

Saddleback on Rona Island

Congratulations to the hardworking team on the Pomona Island Charitable Trust who have achieved one of their early goals - to reintroduce saddleback (tieke) back to the area. The Trust has put a great deal of effort in to making Rona Island predator free (including the difficult target of mice) to make this possible. With the reintroduction of the South Island Robin to Pomona Island in 2009, it is wonderful to read in their March newsletter that at the December bird count, the robin was the top bird accounted for on the island. Their other exciting find on Pomona Island was the empty shell of a native snail, which even the experts at Te Papa weren’t sure if it was an identified species. To read more about the activities of the Pomona Island Charitable Trust check out their website at www.pomona-island.org.nz.

Kiwibank Predator Free Communities programme will be open for applications on the 2nd July

The next round of funding for the Kiwibank Predator Free Communities programme is opening for applications soon. The Predator Free New Zealand Trust and Kiwibank are looking for enthusiastic communities that want to make their backyards predator free and help native species thrive.

To be eligible to apply for funding a community should be a cluster of urban or rural households wanting to target rats, stoats, ferrets, weasels and possums. The programme doesn’t cover lifestyle blocks, farms, council or government land and excludes the use of toxins.

Kiwibank funding will provide successful applicants with a subsidy on humane traps and pre-made tunnels and will help fund and provide support materials for the community programme.

The funding round opens Monday 2nd July 2018 and closes Sunday 15 July 2018.

For more information go to www.predatorfreenz.org